A council has been conned out of ??270,000 amid police fears that a major fraud is sweeping Scotland.
North Ayrshire Council last night confirmed it had lost the money after falling for a sophisticated scam.
The revelation came a month after South Lanarkshire announced it had been taken for more than ??100,000 in a similar case believed to involve West African crime groups.
Law enforcement sources believe the two Scottish authorities are among many more organisations to be targeted by the fraudsters.
Police on both sides of the Border have launched a major investigation with a man from Wolverhampton already arrested in connection with the missing North Ayrshire money.