Police have slammed “shameless and despicable” scammers after an elderly woman in Dundee was conned out of £7,000.
Officers are looking to raise awareness of the phone scam, which they say is new to the area.
On Sunday an 88-year-old in the West End of the city was contacted by a man from a mobile number claiming to be investigating employees of her bank who were potentially tampering with cash transactions.
The next day, the same man called back who then informed her to go to her bank and withdraw £4,000 and was told not to tell bank staff what the cash was for in case it roused suspicion.
He explained that she was to do this so that he could analyse the cash notes for fingerprints in order to catch the apparent employee who he claimed was tampering with cash transactions.
The caller explained to the complainer that once she had withdrawn the requested cash he would send a “courier” to her to collect the cash.
Later that day, she was contacted again, and informed that someone would be around within 15 minutes to collect the cash.
A man, described as being 6ft in height with a slim build, tanned complexion, medium length black hair, no facial hair, turned up and took the money.
The victim believed he was foreign, but spoke perfect English without any accent. He was wearing a dark jacket with a shirt underneath.
On Tuesday, the woman was phoned again and told that there had been a positive result from examination of her money. She was convinced by the caller to obtain a further £3,000 from her bank and hand it over, which she did in the same manner.
When she was called again and asked by the caller if any of her neighbours were customers of the same bank and how old were they, she brought this to the attention of a neighbour, who told her this was a scam.
A spokesman for Police Scotland hit out at the scammers and urged people to be on their guard.
He said: “We cannot adequately describe just how shameless and despicable this crime has been.
“We haven’t heard of this particular scam in the Tayside area before.
“No-one who is genuine will ever ask you to go and withdraw large sums of money and hand it over to them, no matter how plausible they sound.
“Please do not be taken in by anyone who phones you and makes requests of this kind. If you can, take a note of the number used, and call us on 101. We would very much like to find them.
“With regards to this specific incident, if you saw anyone matching the description we gave earlier in the Blackness Road or Balgay Park areas of Dundee around lunchtime on Monday 17 or 10:15am on Tuesday September 18, or if you have any other information which could assist our enquiries, please call 101 or speak with any police officer. Our reference is CR/22676/18.”