Two elderly women in South Ayrshire have fallen victim to bank scams in recent weeks prompting police to issue a warning for people to be on their guard.
The women, aged 80 and 93, had four-figure sums taken after scammers contacted them by phone and claimed that they were from their bank.
Police warned that scammers may say that there was a problem with their account, or they have been a victim of fraud or theft.
They may also say they have concerns regarding local bank staff and ask for help testing security procedures.
They convince the caller they are genuine, then ask the victim to transfer funds, apply for banking products, or ask them to visit their local branch to withdraw money and check that staff are responding appropriately.
Local area commander for South Ayrshire, chief inspector Kevin Lammie said: “These fraudsters are heartless and have no conscience. They prey on the most vulnerable people in our communities and steal their life savings.
“I would urge everyone with an elderly relative or neighbour to make them aware of this type of fraud as soon as possible.
“These crimes significantly impact victims when they discover they have fallen for a scam, and the financial loss can be devastating.
“The fraudsters use sophisticated tactics and go to great lengths to appear legitimate, including making it appear they are calling from a genuine bank number and may even have personal details.
“It is important to remember that a true caller from your bank will never ask for your banking details as they already have them. They will never ask you to withdraw money or disclose personal financial information.
“If you receive a call of this nature, do not engage with the caller and hang up – it’s a scam. If you are unsure, take a few moments to think.
“Call your bank on the number on the back of your card, ideally using a different phone, or attend your local branch for advice. If you have any doubts, end the call and ask a friend, relative or the Police for advice.
“Any victims of these crimes or anyone with information or concerns regarding calls they have received should contact 101. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.”
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