OAPs scammed by ‘bank call’ conman

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CON artists stole thousands of pounds from pensioners in Edinburgh after tricking them into handing over their bank cards and pin numbers by convincing them they had already been the victim of a fraud.

The fraudsters have targeted at least three elderly victims in the Capital, phoning them up and pretending to be from their bank before arranging for their card and pin to be collected by a courier.

An hour later, the “courier” turned up at their homes before cash was then withdrawn from ATM machines or expensive purchases were made with the cards in stores.

Among the victims was an 88-year-old man who lost a four-figure sum while an 81-year-old woman also had a four-figure amount stolen from her.

The man who collected the cards, is described as an Asian male, 25 to 30-years-old, 5ft 11in tall, with a medium build and a gap between his bottom front teeth. He was wearing a black jacket.

Detective Constable Trish Wallace, from Craigmillar police station, said: “We believe this scam may also have been carried out elsewhere so we are looking into possible links.

“It appears that they are targeting elderly people, but we are still trying to determine whether they were found through cold-calling.

“We would ask anyone who believes that they may have received a call from these people to contact police.

“The victims have been left extremely distressed. There is the possibility that there are more victims out there and we would encourage them to get in touch.”

On May 9, an 88-year-old man from the Groathill area followed the instructions of the fraudster, and later discovered that a four-figure sum had been taken from his account.

In early August, an 80-year-old woman from the Braids area was also defrauded of a three-figure sum from her account before an 81-year-old woman from the Roseburn area reported a four-figure sum having been stolen from her account after she handed her card over to a courier.

Another elderly woman contacted police on Saturday after receiving a similar phone call.

She declined to provide her card and was not defrauded.

DC Wallace added: “We are working to determine whether the courier is working alone, or whether there are more individuals involved.

“The caller appears to have been plausible in what they said to the victims, and the victims believed they were talking to their bank.

“Our advice would be to never give pin number or personal information over the phone.

“If you are unsure about who is calling, hang up and phone the bank back directly yourself.

“If you have any suspicions about who is calling then contact police.”

amcewen@edinburghnews.com