Warning as more than £1m stolen through ‘safe account scams’

Police said the fraudsters 'love to play on people’s fear of losing money'.

Warning as more than £1m stolen through ‘safe account scams’ Pixabay

More than £1m has been stolen from Scots in the north-east of the country through ‘safe account scams’ over the past year.

Police have issued a warning over the fraudsters who “love to play on people’s fear of losing money”.

The criminals convince their victims that their cash isn’t safe in their bank account and urge them to move it quickly. 

Those that are duped then end up transferring their money into the fraudster’s account.

Since August 2019, police in the north-east of the country have received 84 reports of ‘safe account scams’ – with more than £1m stolen.

Detective sergeant John Lumsden, pro-active CID, said: “Typically, you’ll receive a call from someone pretending to be your bank or the police and they’ll say your account has been compromised and that you need to act fast to protect it. 

“You’re encouraged to move your money into a ‘safe account’, but this is really the fraudster’s bank details.

“Sometimes the fraudster will advise you to hang up the phone and call the number on the back of their bank card to discuss the matter but stays on the line and pretends to be a bank employee, before instructing you to transfer money into a ‘safe account’.”

Stay safe

  • Your bank will never ask you to move money into another account.
  • Just because a call sounds genuine, it doesn’t mean it is – the fraudster may ask you security questions to sound official but they may be doing this to steal your personal information.
  • The fraudster may text you using a number that looks genuine on your phone – but be aware that numbers can be made to look like they’re from your bank.
  • If you receive a phone call apparently from your bank under these circumstances, call into your local branch or phone your bank using a different phone.

If you believe you’ve been a victim of a ‘safe account scam’, report it to police on 101.

For more advice, click here.