Three pensioners have fallen victim to fraud of a five-figure sum of money across Lanarkshire in the last three months.
In each case the victims received phone calls from someone with a local accent claiming to be from their local bank branch.
The calls came from a private number and elderly residents, aged 73, 81 and 86, in East Kilbride and Carluke were targeted.
The fraudster told the victims that they had money taken from their accounts and believed bank staff were responsible.
They asked the victim for assistance and provided information regarding recent banking activity to appear genuine.
In order for the victim to get money back they had to provide them with details of another bank account to transfer money into and ask them to go into the branch to make the transaction.
The trio were also told to tell staff the money is being transferred for a family member.
Police are now urging anyone with information of the fraud to come forward with information and have urged residents to be on guard.
DC Murray, from Lanarkshire CID, said: “I would ask everyone to be on their guard from any type of online or telephone scam.
“Each of these incidents is clearly extremely distressing for the people involved who all believed that the calls were made from their own banks. They trusted that the information they were given was correct. The people behind these scams are contemptible, abusing people’s trust and then stealing money from them.
“The criminals who use these sophisticated tactics, go to great lengths to appear legitimate including providing information on recent banking activity. It is important to remember that a genuine caller from your bank would never ask for your banking or personal details as they already have it.
“Your bank will not ask you to transfer money during an unsolicited call nor will they ask you to allow them access to your online or telephone banking, so if asked, politely end the call. It is best to call your bank back on a number you have sourced yourself, ideally using a different phone, or attend at your local branch for advice. If you are unsure, end the call and ask a friend, relative or the Police for advice.
“Any victims of these crimes or anyone with concerns regarding calls they have received should contact their local police station through 101. If you are in any doubt that the call is not genuine then please end the call, your bank will understand.
“Anyone with information should contact Police via 101. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.”