Police are urging people to be vigilant for telephone fraud following a number of incidents in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Residents have recently been targeted by fraudsters who call pretending to be from the resident’s bank, advising that their bank account has been compromised.
The householder is then encouraged to transfer their money to a ‘safe account’ provided by the fraudster.
The fraudster instructs the resident to hang up and call the number on the back of their bank card to ensure the caller is genuine, however, the fraudster keeps the telephone line open and ‘answers’ the call.
One couple in Aberdeen lost their life savings after a call claiming there had been suspicious activity on their account.
In another incident, a male Aberdeenshire resident was persuaded by a caller to give his on-line banking details and password and after being given a new password was unable to access his account. He later discovered £3,600 had been taken from the account.
This type of fraud is commonly known as ‘Vishing’ and Crime Reduction Officer Kev Marron said, “This is a particularly despicable crime that has affected some residents in the Grampian region. However it is not just a local problem but a UK wide problem and the public need to be vigilant.
Constable Marron advised: “Always double check numbers you’re given to call back on or call through the main customer care number for the organisation and ask to be put through. If you decide to ring back and verify the call it is advisable to do so on a different phone line like another landline or your mobile.
“If this isn’t possible leave at least five minutes between receiving the suspect call and making a new call. Some scammers keep the phone line open and will reconnect as soon as you dial a new number, continuing the scam by pretending to be a different person from the same organisation.”
PC Marron added: “Always be suspicious if someone reporting to be from your bank requests any of your bank or personal details. They should already have them. If in doubt, ask them to put a stop on your account and attend in person at your branch.”