Bishopbriggs and Lenzie residents fleeced of £80k in investment company scam

Two residents have together lost more than £80,000 after being ripped off by fraudsters imitating genuine investment firms.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 10:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 10:19 am
Police investigate

Now East Dunbartonshire police are warning local people to be alert to the sophisticated scammers.

The Bishopbriggs and Lenzie residents were fleeced of £35,000 and £50,000 in February and March of this year.

In the first scam, a Bishopbriggs woman was contacted in February by what she though was her previous private pension provider.

She had lost a substantial sum of money when the firm had earlier been declared insolved.

A police spokesperson said: “The paperwork appeared legitimate being on headed paper n the company name.

"As a result she entered into telephone conversations with the scammer who stated they could recover monies lost if she provided a ‘small admin fee’.

"She was then contacted a further eight times by various representatives purporting to be from the same company indicating various balances were outstanding.”

The local woman eventually paid out almost £35,000 to the scammer.

The company then ceased all contact after she started questioning them and she reported the matter to the police.

The police spokesperson said: “It has since been confirmed that victim has been defrauded. HMRC are aware of two similar frauds from the same company and are conducting investigations alongside police.”

In the second scam, a Lenzie resident received a text from a scammer initially purporting to be Royal Mail.

The scammer stated she owed them £2 which could be paid if she provided her bank details.

The police spokesperson said: “The victim responded accordingly. She then received a call from a male who stated he was calling from her savings bank informing her she had been victim of a scam.

"Believing this to legitimately be her bank she provided further bank details of accounts and agreed to move her monies – in the region of £50,000.

"After several phone calls from ‘unknown’ numbers the victim became suspicious and attended her bank in person where it was confirmed they had not contacted her and monies had been withdrawn fraudulently.” An investigation has been launched.

East Dunbartonshire police are warning people what to look out for and urge them to be extra vigilant as the scammers are “very sophisticated and appear genuine”.One officer said: “Scammers contact their victims via phone, email or social media and often pressurise the victim by telling them the offer is low risk but is time limited giving little time for consideration."

Take Five to Stop Fraud is a national campaign from Financial Fraud Action UK and the UK Government, backed by the banking industry.

A local police spokesperson said: “It’s about taking that moment to pause and think before you respond to any text, email or phone call asking you to share any personal or financial details.

"If you suspect someone is after your money, take five and confidently challenge them with this simple phrase: ‘My money? My info? I don’t think so!’”

The campaign urges people to follow these tips to help you protect yourself from financial fraud.Requests to move money: A genuine bank or organisation will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, full password or to move money.

Clicking on links/files: Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

Personal information: Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the firm directly using known email or phone number.