Police in the Borders and East Lothian are issuing a warning following a series of potential telephone banking scams in Duns and North Berwick, which have been reported over the last week.
In the incidents on the bogus callers have managed to fraudulently transfer several large sums of cash, leaving the victims devastated.
On each occasion, the bank account holders - from a number of different banks - have been contacted by someone claiming to be from their bank’s fraud unit informing them of unusual activity on their account. They are told to hang up and immediately call the emergency number on the back of their bank card.
But the bogus callers have been able to keep the telephone line open - including using sound effects to simulate a dialing tone - before transferring the caller to a fake bank agent.
Thinking they are through to the bank, the bank account holder then passes over all relevant personal details the culprits require. This has resulted in large amounts of money being transferred out of the alleged ‘compromised’ bank account.
Detective Inspector Dave Pinkney said: “It is very upsetting for victims when they lose significant sums of money as a result of telephone banking scams.
“If you think you have been subject to this type of call, do not immediately call back the number of your bank as requested by the caller.
“Our advice is to either contact the emergency number using a separate phone, or phone a person you know to check whether the line has been kept open before phoning the bank.
“Householders and business owners should always remain vigilant when phoned by people regarding their bank account. If you think you have received such a call, contact police immediately.”
DI Pinkney added: “We will continue to investigate these cases thoroughly.
“Anyone with information on such scams can contact Police Scotland on 101, or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0845 555 111.”