Trusting victims duped into handing over more than £300k to bogus Police Scotland officers

More than £300,000 has been stolen from victims in a banking scam involving fraudsters pretending to be police officers.

By Lucinda Cameron
Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 1:57 pm

Police Scotland said that, since October, they have received more than 30 reports from members of the public, who have either been visited or contacted by individuals claiming to be officers.

On each occasion, the victim was phoned by someone claiming to be from a bank fraud department telling them their account had been compromised.

Crooks have struck in Prestwick, Ayr, Kilmarnock, Irvine, Motherwell, Blantyre, Dunblane, Linlithgow, Stirlingshire, Falkirk, Dumfries, North Berwick, Galashiels, Cupar, Forfar and Aberfeldy.

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Fraudsters posing as Police Scotland officers pretended to be calling from the victims' bank.

Victims were asked to either transfer money remotely to another account online or go to a bank and remove cash, which would later be collected by a police officer.

Superintendent Hilary Sloan, from the Partnerships, Prevention and Community Wellbeing Division, said: “If you receive such a call, or visit, ask for the officer’s details and which department they work for. If the contact is by telephone, hang up and if possible use a different phone to contact the police service via 101, where you will speak to genuine members of Police Scotland and can request police officer verification.

“We began a national rollout of new identification cards, which feature an up-to-date picture of the officer, along with other key information and various security enhancements that make them extremely difficult to replicate.

“This rollout was started in October 2021 and all police officers should be able to provide this identification when carrying out legitimate police business.

“If you receive an email claiming to be from Police Scotland with a link to an external site to make a payment, this may also be fraudulent. Be aware of phishing scams and verify that any link provided is genuine.

“If you receive something claiming to be from us requesting any form of payment, contact us via 101 to investigate this matter before parting with your money.”

Police said that more than £300,000 has been defrauded from victims, and inquiries to identify those responsible are ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland via 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where anonymity can be maintained.

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