Warning after elderly woman has savings stolen in telephone scam

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An elderly woman was the victim of a telephone scam and lost a five-figure sum of cash from her savings.

Police in Forth Valley are warning people not to be caught out after the callous fraud.

The Stirling woman received a phone call on October 12 from a man claiming to be a detective sergeant with the Metropolitan Police.

He said that one of her bank accounts had been hacked.

The following day she received another call, this time from a woman claiming to be the head of her bank’s fraud unit who confirmed the account had been accessed.

When the woman asked for confirmation of the caller’s identity, she received a convincing email which was also part of the scam.

Police Sergeant Alasdair Matheson said: “The victim was told that in order to protect her savings she must transfer them into a specific account and not to trust any bank staff when she was carrying out the transaction as they were involved in hacking her bank account and were under investigation.

“The victim was convinced to transfer a five figure sum and we are now investigating this as fraud.”

The officer said these type of frauds, known as ‘social engineering’, target the elderly as they are very trusting and vulnerable.

He added: “The effect that these type of crimes have on the elderly can be more than just monetary. It can severely affect their confidence and future trust in people and their overall quality of life. If you have an elderly relative please make them aware of this and for them not to be ‘duped’ by fraudsters.

“The police won’t phone you out the blue to say your bank account has been hacked. Your bank will never ask you to transfer funds into another persons account to keep it safe. Don’t ever provide details over the phone or by email. If you have any concerns about your bank accounts or if you receive any such phone calls then please go to your local branch and ask to speak to a staff member in person to raise your concerns.

“If you believe you are a victim of this type of crime please contact us on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”