Pensioner loses £200,000 in bank scam

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Police Scotland are calling on the public to be vigilant against electronic crime, after a Buchan pensioner was conned out of £200,000 by fraudsters.

A number of people have been targeted by fraudsters over the past few months, including the 68 year-old man from the Peterhead area who lost more than £200,000.

The criminals phone individuals claiming to be a representative from their bank and advising them that their bank account has been compromised. The individual is then encouraged to transfer their money, often their life savings into a ‘safe account’ provided by the fraudster.

This type of fraud is commonly known as ‘Vishing’. Police are urging people to be aware of calls of this nature and to ensure elderly or vulnerable family and friends are aware of such scams.

Electronic fraud is on the increase and there has even been an instance where a 37 year-old man from Banchory had his details compromised via the use of Wi-Fi while visiting a racecourse in the Chester area last month.

Police Scotland urges the public to be mindful about internet security. This advice also applies to mobile phones and the various apps that ask for an individual’s details, including email and banking.

Constable Kev Marron, from Police Scotland’s Crime Reduction Unit, said: “These are extremely sad incidents and people have to be on their guard.

“Be on your guard if you are telephoned by anyone claiming to be from your bank, or indeed any other company such as an electricity supplier, and especially if the call involves transferring money, providing or confirming your bank details.

“If you do call your bank to verify the call, it is imperative that you look up your bank’s telephone number and do not use any number the caller provides.

“It is also really important to do so on a different phone line as scammers can leave the phone line open and reconnect as soon as you dial a new number, continuing the scam.

“If this isn’t possible, leave at least an hour between receiving the suspect call and making a new call.”

Another current scam involves individuals being encouraged to contact internet security companies via ‘pop-up’ windows on their computers.

In both cases, customers are induced into providing their financial details and charged for services they never receive.

Constable Marron advises: “Always be suspicious if someone reporting to be from your bank or any organisation requests you to transfer money or asks for your personal details. If there is the slightest doubt, attend your bank in person. Do not provide your details over the telephone .”