Hunt for fraudsters after pensioners targeted in string of bank scams

Officers received at least three reports of fraud in the area with one woman being conned out of thousands of pounds.

Hunt for fraudsters after pensioners targeted in string of bank scams iStock

Police are hunting fraudsters after pensioners were targeted in a series of bank scams in Angus.

Officers received several reports of fraud in the Forfar area with one woman being conned out of thousands of pounds.

Between Monday and Friday last week, scammers pretending to be from the person’s bank contacted three residents in an effort to steal cash. 

On Friday, a 76-year-old woman was contacted by a woman who claimed that there had been suspicious purchases on her bank card. 

The lady was then persuaded by the caller over the phone to attend at her bank and withdraw a four-figure sum of money.

She was also pressured to purchase a watch worth a five-figure sum of money from a local jeweller and then hand the money and watch over to a man who was pretending to be a police officer in a car park in Perth.

On Monday, November 15, a 97-year-old woman was called by a woman claiming to be from her bank who said there had been an attempt to withdraw a substantial sum of money from her account. 

The caller then said to the woman that in order to safeguard her account, she was to hand over her bank card and PIN to a police officer who would call at her address in Forfar later that day. 

The fraudster claiming to be a police officer turned up and took the card.

There was later an attempt to withdraw a five-figure sum of money from the account but the bank declined the request.

On the same day, a 76-year-old man received a call from someone claiming to be from his bank’s fraud team. 

He was requested to go to his bank and withdraw a five-figure sum of money from his account and then wait at home for two police officers to attend to pick up the cash.  

Fortunately, the bank declined the withdrawal and no money was taken.

Officers are now looking to track down the suspects.

Sergeant Andy Sheppard, Tayside Division,said: “Thankfully two out of the three frauds were unsuccessful, thanks in part to the banks involved, however, this type of crime plays on the trust of people who would never think that an approach from the ‘police’ or ‘their bank’ would be fraudulent.

“The impact of this type of crime on the victims can be substantial and long lasting.  It is imperative that we track down those responsible and bring them to justice.

“These fraudsters are extremely plausible.  They prey on the most vulnerable people in our community.

“Whilst we are appealing for any information about these crimes, we are also highlighting this to make people aware that it is happened in the Forfar area. 

“We would urge people with elderly relatives or friends to let them know that this has happened and to encourage them to let family, friends or the police know if it has happened to them or indeed, even if they have just been called by someone out of the blue claiming to be from their bank reporting suspicious activity but didn’t act on it.

“We appreciate that some calls will genuinely be from a bank or police but neither will ever ask you to verify your personal details or PIN by phone or offer to pick up your bank card in person.  A police officer will never ask you to take part in an investigation in which you need to withdraw money from the bank or purchase high-value goods.

“If you are called by somebody stating they are a police officer or from your bank and you are unsure who they are and who they are claiming to be, terminate the call, wait a few minutes as sometimes the fraudster waits on the line after you think the line had been disconnected, then call 101 or your bank to check if the call is genuine.

“If you have any information about the incidents in Forfar, then please call police via 101 quoting reference number 2973 of 19 November, 2021. Details can also be passed anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

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