Coverage helps SBRC warn Gumtree Shoppers

by Chris Fairbairn

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Gumtree shoppers get warning about fake bargains scam from Scottish cyber security experts

PR success for SBRC with warning on Gumtree shoppoing scamSHOPPERS have been warned of a clever scam aimed  at users of the popular Gumtree website.

Now the alert from cyber security experts has helped earn a huge range of positive headlines for the work of the Scottish Business Reslience Centre (SBRC).

It revealed how crooks have been cashing in by conning users via unconventional payment agreements.

The SBRC’s warning caught the attention of the media across Scotland and beyond, racking up at least 30 significant items of coverage in a huge variety of newspapers and news sites. The stellar results of our PR campaign for the SBRC included:

  • Coverage in 28 local publications, including Fife Today, Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra and Border Telegraph and many more spanning the whole of Scotland.
  • A substantial article in The National, both in print and online. As one of Scotland’s newest quality newspapers the National is read across Scotland and is particularly influential with supporters of the SNP government.
  • The story also ran in key business title, Daily Business, which is the country’s most widely read online business news source, reaching movers and shakers in the business and corporate world. 
  • In total our efforts ensured the story reached at least 140,392 eager readers, warning them of the dangers they may encounter using Gumtree.
  • Eye catching PR photos of SBRC’s cyber security experts were used across numerous titles – giving the story even greater reach and impact

The SBRC discovered that online conmen were posing as  “buyers” on Gumtree, then playing on the kindness of others by  claiming to have problems organising a courier. Through the promise of reimbursement via PayPal and the use of third party sites, the cheats then convincingly scammed sellers out of money.

As Scotland’s reigning Most Outstanding Small Public Relations Agency, we knew how to achieve the best results for our client SBRC and communicate the important messages far and wide.

Firstly we spoke to the key people within SBRC to get a clear understanding of the scam and how it played on the natural kindness of ordinary people. Then we told that story in a powerful package of words and pictures, to helpt catch the eye of journalists and news reporters.

Then we focused on local press in order to reach out to as many communities as possible to spread the word tothe widest possible audience – both online and in print.


Cyber security experts with the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC)To see exactly how we generated this amount of coverage for SBRC on the Gumtree scam, please read the original media release to see our powerful and eye-catching story telling in action 


To get this kind of valuable media coverage for your business, look for a public relations agency with the best credentials

Public relations is not only for businesses with deep pockets. Affordable PR campaigns can be shaped for most sizes of company – from start ups to well-established smaller firms

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Chris Fairbairn of Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

Chris Fairbairn

Chris Fairbairn is a PR account manager with award-winning public relations agency Holyrood Partnership. He is part of an expert PR team delivering PR services to a wide range of clients from headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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