Peebles man loses £15,000 to fraudster claiming to be police

Police Scotland
Police Scotland

Police are urging the public to be vigilant after a Peebles man lost more than £15,000 to fraudsters yesterday.

The man received a call from someone on Thursday, April 26, who claimed to be from the ‘Visa Fraud Squad’ stating that his bank account had been compromised.

He then received a second phone call a short time later, with the caller claiming to be an officer from Police Scotland’s fraud department.

The caller asked the man to make five bank transfers into one account, which would ensure that his money was then “safe”.

He transferred funds totalling over £15,000 into this account, set up by who he believed was a police officer.

However, after doing so, he became suspicious and contacted his bank and police.

The money was not returned and the caller was not a genuine police officer.

Detectives have now launched an investigation into the full circumstances.

Detective Sergeant Neil Drummond from Police Scotland’s financial investigation unit, said: “This has been a despicable act that has left the victim understandably distressed.

“I would like to remind the public that police officers have no involvement in someone’s bank accounts, and would never phone up to discuss money transactions.

“Police officers will likely only phone someone to arrange a suitable time to meet in person. If you do receive a phone call from a named officer, and want to be sure you are speaking to someone genuine, you can call us back on 101 and ask to be transferred to that named officer at their relevant department.

“If you receive a call out of the blue claiming you have been a victim of fraud, or that you bank account has been compromised, please take some time to ensure this is legitimate. Criminals can use software to manipulate the numbers they call from, so that they appear to be a reputable company.

“These criminals can be extremely manipulating and convincing, and if you are ever in any doubt, do not be afraid to hang up and check the legitimacy of the company before phoning them back.

“These types of crimes can affect anyone, however I’d ask that you make friends and relatives aware of these sorts of scams, and be wary that criminals often target the elderly and vulnerable.”

Anyone who thinks they have been a victim of fraud can report this to Police Scotland on 101.