Police Scotland have warned members of the public to be on their guard following a ‘courier fraud’ scam in which a 75-year-old woman was advised to transfer a five figure sum of money into a rogue account.
The incident happened in the Lanarkshire area.
The woman received a phone call at her home from a man claiming to be an employee from her bank. He informed the victim that her account may have been compromised and instructed her to phone the number on the back of her bank card. She did so and was told by a genuine employee from the bank that there was no problem with her account, but that she should monitor activity on her account.
Later that evening the woman received a phone call from a withheld number with a female claiming to work for the bank and she was, again, asked to repeat the earlier process of phoning the number on the back of her bank card.
The victim followed this process and dialled the bank whereby she spoke with the male who had initially contacted her. However, this is where the courier fraud took place.
The female caller stayed on the line, passing the phone to the male who made the very first call, but played a dialling tone so the victim thought she was making a new call to her bank. In reality the victim was still connected to the original call and the fraudsters.
Fraudulently representing the bank, the man then informed the victim that there was a problem with her account and that she would need to transfer the five figure sum into a ‘holding account’. Unfortunately the victim followed this guidance.
A police Scotland spokesperosn said: “This can happen anywhere, so please remember that the best way to avoid becoming a victim of this type of fraud is to remember that your bank or the police will NEVER ask for your bank card and PIN over the phone, and you should never divulge these to anyone, at any time.”