A number of people have been targeted by fraudsters over the past few months, including a 68 year old man from the Peterhead area who lost over £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. We want to make sure that the people in our community are kept safe, informed and advised on how to reduce the chances of being the subject of such a ruthless crime.
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. It has also been seen that some telephone numbers for internet security companies found in online searches are actually those of scammers. 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 and do not provide your details over the telephone or the computer.
If anybody has any concerns regarding telephone fraud or they wish a copy of “Victims Of Fraud” leaflet which has preventive advice they are asked to contact:
Aberdeen: PC Kevin Murray, Crime Reduction Officer Telephone 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Aberdeenshire: PC Kevin Marron, Crime Reduction Officer Telephone 101 or email email@example.com
Morayshire: PC Alison Thow, Crime Reduction Officer Telephone 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Police Scotland have previously given the following advice when dealing with people calling you saying they are from your bank
We would advise that if you are telephoned by anyone pertaining to be from your bank to telephone your bank back especially if it involves transferring money, providing or confirming your bank details.
Always look up your bank’s telephone number and do not use a number the caller provides. Furthermore, if you do decide to ring back and verify the call it is advisable to do so on a different phone line, like another landline or on your mobile.
If this isn’t possible, leave at least 30 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 bank.
Always be suspicious if someone reporting to be from your bank or any organisation requests you to transfer money, asks for your bank or personal details. Above all, if there is the slightest doubt, attend in person at your branch.[/quote_box_left]