'Despicable' scammers con two Scots out of more than £400,000

An 85-year-old man from Aberdeen was conned out of £200,000 by a man claiming to be from his bank.

‘Despicable’ scammers in Aberdeen con two people out of more than £400,000 iStock

People are being asked to be vigilant after two people in Aberdeen were conned out more than £400,000.

The first victim, an 85-year-old man from the city, was conned out of £200,000 by a scammer claiming to be his bank.

The man said that the victim’s bank account was being investigated due to fraudulent activity, and asked him to transfer £20,000 to an account provided by the scammer.

The victim complied and transferred huge sums of money on a near-daily basis. He was also told to set up internet banking.

He only became suspicious and told a family member after he was contacted by a woman claiming to be from the police, working on the investigation.

Another victim, a 59-year-old business owner, was defrauded out of £210,000 after being told by scammers that his many bank accounts had been compromised.

He was then instructed to transfer his money to a “safe account” via internet banking, after which he transferred all of his money into criminal control.

Chief inspector Darren Bruce said: “The people who carry out these crimes are despicable. They target members of our community and steal their life savings.

“The scammers gained the victims confidence to ensure they parted with large sums of money.

“Criminals pretend to be from a legitimate bank, then contact the victims by telephone to warn of suspicious activity on their accounts.

“They convince the victim to transfer money to ‘safe accounts’. This type of fraud is known as ‘Authorised Push Payment’.

“We would like to make the public aware of these calls to ensure that their elderly or vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours are also aware of these types of scams.”

He added that no reputable bank or financial institution would ask for banking details or passwords over the phone, and advised people to not share any personal information.

Instead, ask the person where they got your information and the reason for the call, also making a note of what they are asking for.

“Be suspicious as to who is calling you, and make every effort to ensure that the person at the end of the line is legitimate and represents who they claim to be,” he said.

“Do not be afraid to take details; there is nothing wrong with declining their requests and ending the call.”

Anyone with information regarding these incident should contact officers through 101, quoting reference 1345 of May 28.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted through 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.

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