Elderly couple from Forfar targeted in ‘despicable’ bank scam

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Police have issued a warning to the public following a “distressing” incident involving an elderly couple from Forfar being targeted by scammers.

A man, who claimed to be from a bank, said that their account had been compromised and that they should utilise the 1471 facility to telephone the bank immediately.

On doing as requested, the couple were then directed to another man claiming to be from the fraud section of the bank concerned.

He asked them immediately to transfer a four figure sum to what was claimed to be “a safe account” with another bank and urged the couple not to disclose any information.

The fraudsters went to the extent of ordering a local taxi to convey one of them to the bank to carry out this function.

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Bank staff became suspicious and alerted police through the ‘banking protocol’ where the scam came to light.

This resulted in no financial loss on this occasion due to the bank’s intervention but the distress and upset to the elderly couple “cannot be measured”.

Officers have said that the distress and upset to the elderly couple cannot be measured.

Sergeant Andy Sheppard, Preventions & Interventions, Tayside Division said: “This type of incident, often involving a telephone call can and will raise fear amongst members of the public often heightened where threatening statements are also added, things like ‘you will be arrested, there will be a warrant issued, a debt collecting agency has been informed’.

“In this case it was the threat of losing money, the fear that followed and the despicable methods fraudsters will use to deceive members of our community in order to steal their possessions and often targeting their respective life savings.

“This also demonstrates the lengths the fraudsters will go to in organising transport through a local taxi firm to aid their crime.”

He also added: ‘I would like taxi firms to beware of being used in transporting vulnerable members of the community to banks and other financial institutions and if suspicious in any way to contact the police immediately.”

If you have any information regarding these incidents or information you think may be useful to the police telephone 101 or in an emergency 999.