Kelso woman loses £40,000 in fake bank scam

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Police are urging people to remain vigilant after a Kelso woman lost over £40,000 to fraud.

On Friday, March 9, a woman in her seventies received a call from a man claiming to be from her bank who said that there had been fraudulent activity on her account.

He told her to attend her local branch and transfer funds into other bank accounts, allegedly set up in her name, until this issue was resolved.

Over Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10, the woman made a total of five bank transfers to five different accounts totalling over £40,000.

She was then called again on Monday, March 12 by the same man, who said that the fraud investigation had concluded and the money would be transferred back into her account that day.

The money was not returned and police have now launched an investigation into this after being they were contacted by a relative of the on Sunday.

Detective Sergeant Stevie Halls of Galashiels CID said: “These criminals are highly manipulative and can be very convincing. They prey on people’s fears and victims are pressured into ignoring their better judgement and providing money or personal information.

“If you receive an unexpected call claiming that you have been a victim of fraud or that you owe an organisation money, please just take a moment to verify this.

“Advise the caller that you will contact the company on your own terms and hang up immediately.

“Find a phone number from their official website or from a previous correspondence with them and always call the company on a different phone to that which you were called on.

“Anyone can fall victim to this, but please warn elderly or vulnerable friends or relatives in particular of this type of scam and what they should do in the event that they receive such a phone call.”

Those with any information about fraud can contact Police Scotland on 101, Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or make an anonymous report to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.