Forfar fraudsters pretended to be police officers to con elderly woman out of thousands of pounds after attempting to scam two other pensioners

Fraudsters who impersonated police officers conned a 76-year-old woman out of thousands of pounds, after attempting to scam two others in the Forfar area.

The scammers contacted three people by phone between Monday, 15 November and Friday, November 19, in an attempt to steal thousands of pounds from them.

On Friday, November 19, a 76-year old woman was contacted by a woman who claimed there had been suspicious purchases on her bank card.

The woman was persuaded by the caller to withdraw a four-figure sum of money from her bank and to purchase a watch worth a five-figure sum of money from a local jeweller. She was then told to hand the money and watch over to a man, who was pretending to be a police officer, in a Perth car park.

On Monday, November 15, a 97-year-old woman and a 76-year-old man were contacted individually by the scammers, who told both that there had been attempts to withdraw money from their accounts.

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The woman was told to hand over her bank card and PIN, while the man was asked to withdraw a five-figure sum of money. Both were asked to hand these over to fraudsters claiming to be police officers.

The scammer did meet the woman and took her card. They made an attempt to withdraw a five-figure sum of money from the account, but the bank declined this.

Attempts have been made to scam three elderly people in Forfar out of thousands of pounds. The fraudsters pretended to be calling from the victims' bank.

​The 76-year-old man was told to give cash to two ‘police officers’ who would come to his home. However, the bank declined the man’s withdrawal and no money was taken.

Sergeant Andy Sheppard, Police Scotland, Tayside Division said: "Thankfully two out of the three frauds were unsuccessful, thanks in part to the banks involved, however, this type of crime plays on the trust of people who would never think that an approach from the 'police' or 'their bank' would be fraudulent.

"The impact of this type of crime on the victims can be substantial and long lasting. It is imperative that we track down those responsible and bring them to justice.

"These fraudsters are extremely plausible. They prey on the most vulnerable people in our community.

Police have advised the public on how to handle potential cases of fraud. They said that if you're contacted by somebody saying they are a police officer or from your bank and you are unsure if they are who they are claiming to be, you should terminate the call, wait a few minutes, and then call 101 or your bank to check if the call is genuine.

"Whilst we are appealing for any information about these crimes, we are also highlighting this to make people aware that it is happened in the Forfar area. We would urge people with elderly relatives or friends to let them know that this has happened and to encourage them to let family, friends or the police know if it has happened to them or indeed, even if they have just been called by someone out of the blue claiming to be from their bank reporting suspicious activity but didn't act on it.

"If you are called by somebody stating they are a police officer or from your bank and you are unsure who they are and who they are claiming to be, terminate the call, wait a few minutes as sometimes the fraudster waits on the line after you think the line had been disconnected, then call 101 or your bank to check if the call is genuine.

"If you have any information about the incidents in Forfar, then please call police via 101 quoting reference number 2973 of 19 November, 2021. Details can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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