Scammers convinced an 87-year-old man to transfer £30,000 to them after pretending to be his bank.
The telephone scam saw the Fife pensioner conned into thinking he had to move the money quickly to avoid losing it but has left him defrauded out of thousands of pounds.
Police are hunting for those involved in the scheme and have warned others to be cautious following an increase in reports of vulnerable and elderly people being targeted.
Inspector Kirk Donnelly said: “Individuals from either within or outside the UK claim to be from reputable companies such as banks or building societies, Amazon, Microsoft, Inland Revenue and many more.
“These callers can often be aggressive and intimidating, placing pressure on people to do ask they ask.”
Inspector Donnelly said the scammers often tell you your money is at risk due to a fault with a computer or the internet, an accidental renewal of a subscription or an issue with a bank account.
The criminals obtain personal details by various means including third-party phone applications or websites which allow them to remotely access your computer or bank account.
“This can often be followed with a demand for a payment to avoid alleged legal action,” Inspector Donnelly said.
“Be suspicious of all such calls and always make every effort to ensure that the person at end of the line is who they claim to be, represent who they claim to represent and are legitimate and reputable.
“If you are unsure, take details of their company so you can check their credentials. You can even take a number with a view to checking out their details and calling the company they say they are from at a later time using a number you have obtained independently.”