A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Forth Valley Police and other divisions have recently received numerous reports of persons entering offices, retail, leisure and other premises, speaking with staff and customers and using distraction techniques such as asking them to look at a leaflet, newspaper or similar item.
"The perpetrator – or their accomplice – will thereafter steal unattended personal items such as mobile phones, purses or other property from desks, counter tops or from bags and coats nearby.
"On other occasions the perpetrators are placing a newspaper or sheet of paper over items left on tables to conceal them before lifting them with the paper. Please be alert to this and keep your personal property and valuables secure at all times.”
If this has happened to you call 101 or log onto the Police Scotland website.