Bank cheats use phones to hit account holders in Scottish Borders

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Bogus phone callers have stolen what police describe as a large sums of cash from bank accounts in the Borders and East Lothian.

Police Scotland have urged people to be on their guards following the banking frauds on people in Duns and North Berwick.

Detectives say that on each occasion, the bank account holders - from a number of different banks - have been contacted by someone claiming to be from their bank’s fraud unit informing them of unusual activity on their account. They are told to hang up and immediately call the emergency number on the back of their bank card.

But the bogus callers have been able to keep the telephone line open - including using sound effects to simulate a dialing tone - before transferring the caller to a fake bank agent.

Thinking they are through to the bank, the bank account holder then passes over all relevant personal details the culprits require. This has resulted in large amounts of money being transferred out of the alleged compromised bank account.

Detective Inspector Dave Pinkney said: “It is very upsetting for victims when they lose significant sums of money as a result of telephone banking scams.

“If you think you have been subject to this type of call, do not immediately call back the number of your bank as requested by the caller.

“Our advice is to either contact the emergency number using a separate phone, or phone a person you know to check whether the line has been kept open before phoning the bank.

“Householders and business owners should always remain vigilant when phoned by people regarding their bank account. If you think you have received such a call, contact us immediately.”