Warning over high-value frauds

Police officers in North East Fife are warning the public to be on their guard following several recent high-value bank frauds.

In the last three weeks, three people aged 62, 74 and 84 from the St Andrews area have been the victim of high-value frauds where four and five figure sums of money have been stolen for their bank accounts.

In each of these cases the victims have advised they received telephone calls from someone with a local accent, purporting to be from the fraud team of their local bank branch and who appear to be calling from a genuine bank telephone number.

The fraudster then tells the person they have called that they have concerns regarding local bank staff employees.  The fraudster will provide information regarding their account and asks for help testing security procedures.  They may ask the person to transfer funds, apply for banking products, or even for them to visit their local banking branch to check staff are responding appropriately.

Community Sergeant Matt Spencer from St Andrews Police Station 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 upsetting 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 making it appear they are calling from a genuine bank telephone number.  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 quoting reference number 1452 of 09/07/2020.  Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.

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