More warnings over bogus callers

TAYSIDE Police have issued a further warning to the people of Angus following news of another scam.

A 78-year-old Alyth man has been conned out of about £20,000 by a man who called at his door claiming to be a bank official.

The incident happened at about 11am on Wednesday, November 16, when the bogus bank employee called at the man’s address with the pretence of providing him with a new bank card.

The fraudster is in his late 30s to early 40s, about five feet six to five feet eight inches tall, of medium build, with dark hair. He had a foreign accent and wore a suit, shirt, tie and dress shoes. To complete the ruse, he also carried a clip board and wore an identity card.

He was allowed in and persuaded the householder that his current bank card was defunct and provided him with a new one, taking the old one with him as he left. The new card bore no resemblance to the genuine card.

Later that week the man was contacted by his bank who had been concerned about unusual transactions on his account and it was established that, unknown to the victim, thousands of pounds had been withdrawn.

People looking to persuade residents into providing personal and financial details, or parting with the money often adopt high-pressure techniques, are well-practiced in their patter and can very much look and sound the part. They can be very convincing to whoever answers the door or phone to them and be difficult to get rid of.

Very often it is the elderly and more vulnerable members of the community that they call on.

This latest incident is one of a number currently under investigation by Tayside Police’s Western Division CID.

Scams include cold callers claiming to be from IT companies, who advise members of the public that their computer security has been compromised and then request either personal information or remote access to their computers.

Police are encouraged that publicity to such incidents has resulted in an increased awareness to this sort of scam, but it is clear that a number of different tactics are being employed by the fraudsters.

Amongst other cons identified during ongoing investigations are people claiming to be from a bank or building society’s fraud department, people claiming to be from the police to try to obtain security information, or access to funds, people who state they are dealing with Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims and request a transaction fee or access to bank details and people who claim to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs advising of a tax rebate and request a transaction fee or access to bank details.

On a number of occasions people have been advised to contact the telephone number on the rear of their bank cards, or some other apparently genuine number. However, by either keeping the line open or otherwise diverting the victim’s line the perpetrators are continuing the deception.

If anyone receives such an instruction, they should be extremely suspicious, hang up the phone and then call a family member, or friend to ensure their telephone line has not been compromised.

All of the above scams originate from cold calls, they are all bogus and should not be entertained.

It is not an exhaustive list and it is probable that a number of different telephone scams are being committed or attempted.

Anyone with information regarding these or other telephone or computer scams is asked to contact Tayside Police on 0300 111 2222 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.