POLICE in the Lothians and Scottish Borders are warning the public about a new gift card scam after a member of the public almost lost £500.

An office worker recently received an email via his work account that appeared to have been sent by a senior member of staff.

The email asked him to purchase gift cards to the value of £500 urgently as the sender was in a meeting.

He then received further messages via WhatsApp, which appeared to be genuine.

He purchased the Google Play gift cards, but realised that the initial messages had been a scam after speaking to the senior member of staff in person.

He did not send the scammer any of the gift card numbers.

Officers say that people should be wary of emails or social media messages asking for money, even if they seem to have been sent by someone you know.

Always verify that the request is genuine by calling the person who has supposedly sent it on a trusted number.

You should never reveal the codes on vouchers or gift cards you have purchased, unless you are entering them on official websites as full or part payment for goods or services.