Warning over phone fraudsters asking for OAPs’ bank details

An 87-year-old woman has been scammed of £15,000 by conmen taking bank details over the phone.

Northern Constabulary yesterday issued a warning after the pensioner was targeted, along with another 65-year-old man who had £3,800 stolen from their bank.

In both cases the fraudsters were purporting to be from the victims’ banks and asked for their details over the phone.

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Police are advising anyone, but particularly vulnerable groups such as older people, not to provide any bank details over the phone or via random emails.

And Eveyln Sinclair, a volunteer co-ordinator for the Stay Safe project, which works to promote crime prevention messages in conjunction with police to older people and vulnerable groups, urged pensioners to be aware of scams.

She said: “At the Stay Safe project we urge people to be aware of potential scams and we would underline the message from Police which is not to give out any bank or personal details over the phone.

“We want to reach as many older people as possible in an attempt to prevent any more people becoming victims of the type of crime we have witnessed in Inverness over the past few days.

“These callers appear very genuine and can be very convincing, but we would ask people never to provide any details to anyone claiming to be from a bank/building society as these institutions will never ask for your details over the phone.

“More recently banks have been using automated inquiries, but we would say to people to treat these calls the same way by hanging up and calling the bank back themselves.”

Constable Rosanna MacSween, who has worked closely with Evelyn in setting up the Stay Safe project, said: “There are a number of unscrupulous people out there who will try to take advantage of people and the methods they use are becoming increasingly convincing.

“The message from Police is not to provide any details over the phone and if you are online, remember to use the bank’s official website and never respond to any emails purporting to be from your bank/building society.”

Anyone who may have any information about those involved in these latest scams are urged to contact Police on 0845 600 5703 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.