MSP Jamie Greene is warning North Coast residents not to fall victim to scam emails claiming to be from the UK Government.

Thousands of people across Scotland have received emails titled 'Penalty Charge Ref' which claims that residents have used a road in an area with a parking charge scheme.

The email ordered residents to pay the charge by credit or debit card before a certain date and is threatened with increased fines if the charge is not paid.

Police are warning not to open the email or attempt to pay the charge, as criminals are attempting to obtain sensitive information or data.

Mr Greene is urging North Coast residents to be vigilant for scams such as this and not to provide passwords or financial details to suspicious emails.

He said: “Unscrupulous criminals will do almost anything they can to separate people from their hard-earned money and it is important that we are all aware of the signs to look for.

“For instance, whilst some emails claim to come from a certain sender, if in doubt look at the specific email address, not the name on the email, to see the true address of the sender.

“Fraudulent emails may also contain other clues such as spelling mistakes and grammar errors.”

Suspicious emails should be sent the National Cyber Security Centre’s Suspicious Email Reporting Service at