FRAUD in Scotland was 56% higher last month than it was this time last year.

Figures from the Scottish Govenrment show there were 1354 fraud crimes in August, a rise of 488 against the same month last year.

According to, methodology changes are likely to have led to additional crimes of fraud being recorded, so the increase cannot solely be linked to COVID-19.

However, there has been a sharp rise in reports of scams related to coronavirus, as highlighted by the First Minister earlier this month in the  latest Recorded Crime In Scotland bulletin.

Local authorities have reported fraudulent applications for UK government grants, and there have been reports of people going door-to-door pretending to be NHS workers collecting donations or offering to spray paths and driveways with anti-bacterial treatment for cash.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Scots scammers become fake NHS workers in new fraud

Marjorie Gibson, head of operations with Scotland’s national consumer advice service,, said: “These latest figures suggest that fraudsters are still trying to exploit the public health crisis by preying on people and businesses.

“We urge everyone to be vigilant as fraudsters can sound very plausible and persuasive, and it can be easy to be taken in by them.

“It’s always important to check emails very carefully and not to immediately contract with someone who cold calls. The Test and Protect scheme will never ask for money.

“Our advisers are on hand to offer tips on what to look out for to avoid being scammed, and we can report any instances to Trading Standards Scotland for further investigation.”

Earlier this month Nicola Sturgeon slammed "despicable" scammers trying to trick Scots into paying for Covid contact tracing.

The scam involves criminals claiming to be members of the NHS Test and Protect service.

Fraudsters were telling people they had been in close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19. The caller says they'll send a home test kit and asks for bank details.

Ms Sturgeon pointed out that Covid tests are free and "will always be free" as she reminded Scots to hang up if they are approached for cash.

Test and Protect will never ask for bank details or try to sell anything. Contact tracers will text first and will only ask for details about who people have been in contact with, and where.

The Herald revealed in April that banking and mobile industries united to tackle coronavirus message scams as it emerged fraudsters in Scotland were impersonating the NHS to try and con people out of cash.

East Lothian Council has warned of people going door-to-door pretending to be NHS workers collecting donations or offering to shop for money.

Fraudsters have also offered to spray paths and driveways with anti-bacterial treatment for cash.

It came as warnings have been issues about criminals impersonating the UK Government to trick people out of their cash.

Google said at the time that scammers were sending 18 million hoax emails about Covid-19 every day, while security experts say they have discovered more than 700 fake websites mimicking Netflix and Disney+ signup pages as criminals try to take advantage of the lockdown to harvest people’s bank details.

One email scam talked of a "nationwide appeal" in efforts to tackle Covid-19 and seeks to cash in on the public's support for the NHS.

It said that NHS partners are "looking for individuals" who can support in the purchase of medical preparations and supplies, mental health support and welfare initiatives to support staff and more "not just now but in the weeks and months to come".