Police issue warning over telephone bank scam

Brechin police officers have urged locals to be alert to a potential scam after an elderly lady had money taken from her bank account without her approval.

The lady – a customer of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) – was contacted by telephone by a male claiming to be from the RBS, informing the account holder that there had been suspicious activity on her card.

The customer was then asked to place all her credit and debit cards into an envelope and all her PINs into a separate envelope, which would be collected by a courier service later that day.

The customer queried the validity of the call and was given the RBS customer services number which she rightly called, apparently confirming the caller’s identity before complying with the instruction.

Later that day, a male arrived, wearing a body-warmer with the RBS logo on it but no other form of identification, who collected both envelopes.

It was later found that money had been withdrawn from the customer’s account without her knowledge or approval.

It should be recognised that these criminals are well versed in this type of crime and have the ability to hold a phone line open following a call.

To help prevent being a victim of a similar scam, Brechiners have been issued with the following advice:-

l Do not hand bank cards or PINs to anyone - banks will not request your PIN at any time.

l Should you receive any such call, to ensure that your phone line has not been held open, make a call to a friend or family member first before contacting the bank.

l Always request formal photographic identification from any personal caller – do not assume that clothing relating to the company validates the caller’s identity.

l Always shred bank statements – these provide valuable information to these criminals.

l Should you be suspicious of any telephone call or activity, call Police Scotland on 101.