Detectives in Dalkeith are appealing for information after an elderly woman in Penicuik was targeted by a fraudster who stole a large sum of money from her.
Around 11am on Monday, 6 December , the 78-year-old woman was at her home address when she received a phone call from a woman who claimed to be working within the fraud team of her bank who stated they were conducting an internal investigation into a member of staff for fraud.
She transferred the complainer through various other persons who convinced her that she needed to transfer a five-figure sum of money from her bank account to an account number that they gave to assist their enquiry.
She was reassured by the fraudsters that the police were involved and they then asked her to visit her branch the next day to complete the transfer.
She was told not to disclose any of the information she has been given. Around 3pm Tuesday, 7 December, she received a call from the same people. They told her that her bank cards had been compromised and they would send a courier to pick them up.
A man came and collected them. Over the next few days a further four-figure sum was stolen from her account.
Detective Sergeant Declan Hogg said: “The people who carry out these crimes are despicable. They target the most vulnerable members of our community and steal their life savings.
“We need the any help the public can give to track these people down. “We are also urging people to be aware of calls and contact of this nature and in particular to ensure that their elderly or vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours are also aware of these types of scams.
“These callous criminals are well-rehearsed, sound knowledgeable, and can be very convincing, particularly to someone who may not be used to handling online accounts that they don’t use regularly.
“They may also have the name of the person they are calling or some details regarding the accounts held by the person they are phoning which makes it sound more genuine. If in any doubt, contact the organisation using a method you trust and not through the details provided by the caller. Contact police if you have any concerns.
“Your bank will never contact you and ask you to transfer money or divulge personal information. If any fraud has been committed on your account, banks will never contact you direct and ask to uplift your cards or ask you to transfer money to another account. If they do hang up immediately.”
Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact officers through 101 quoting reference 2086 of 9 December. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted through 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.