Police in Fife are warning the public to be on their guard against unsolicited phone calls where the caller makes out they are from a bank or building society.
An 83-year-old Glenrothes man was persuaded to transfer around £13,000 via a bank card reader on Wednesday 24th January to a bogus account.
The caller, who had a Scottish accent, told him that numerous illegal transactions had been made on his account and his money had being stolen. This was a lie to persuade him to transfer money to the fraudster’s account.
Thanks to an intervention by a relative, the bank were able to stop the transactions however this is rare in these cases and many people lose large amounts of money.
Local officers are now asking local people to be aware of this criminal activity and to ensure their elderly relatives are aware of it.
Sergeant Kirk Donnelly from Glenrothes Community Department said: “Your bank will never call you to discuss discrepancies with your account nor will they or the police ask you to transfer money as a safety precaution.
“These criminals claim to be from legitimate organisations and try to frighten or pressure people into revealing personal details or banking information.
"If you receive a call of this nature, it is a scam. Please do not comply with the caller's request. Hang up and contact police, preferably on a different phone.
"Never give out any of your personal information to a caller. Do not immediately call back the number of your bank as requested by the caller.
“If you have any concerns about activity on your bank account then visit your local branch and speak with a bona fide staff member.
"Although this kind of crime can happen to anyone, I am urging anyone who may have elderly friends or relatives in the Glenrothes or wider Fife area to make them aware of such scams and help prevent them from becoming victims.
"We have a range of useful advice on keeping safe from fraudsters on our website at www.scotland.police.uk."