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Push Payment or Safe Account Scam

During January 2024, an elderly Aberdeen resident received a telephone call from a male purporting to be from his banks Fraud Team. They were advised that their accounts had been compromised and were asked to assist with an investigation.

They were instructed to open ‘safe accounts’ with different banks and transfer over the money from their own accounts over a period of time. They went onto provide the scammer with access to these new accounts. The funds were then moved from their ‘safe accounts’ without their knowledge or permission and they lost a six figure sum of money.

North East Crime Reduction Officer PC Irvine has this advice to prevent this happening to you:


  • Be suspicious of a call out of the blue from someone claiming to be from a position of authority. If in doubt, hang up, and verify, not via the numbers given in the call. Where possible use a different phone line or mobile to make the call.

  • Take down the person’s details (name, authority, branch, department etc.) and verify using independent source contact details.

  • Speak to friends and family if you are unsure, regardless what the criminals tell you about the enquiry remaining undercover.

  • A genuine official from Police, Bank, HMRC or any trusted source will NEVER call you to ask you to verify your personal banking details, Pin, password or threaten you with arrest.

  • The Police will NEVER ask you to transfer money, withdraw money on their behalf, buy items on their behalf for evidence or attend at your house to collect cash, bank cards or PIN numbers.

  • NEVER transfer money into another account unless you are 100% certain of the account owner.

  • Your bank will NEVER set up or ask you to set up a safe account.

  • If you fall for a scam contact your bank as soon as possible, as they may, be able to stop the transfer.

If you receive a suspicious message via email, website or text message, you can take the following actions:

  • Email - if you feel unsure about an email you have received, you can forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Services at report@phishing.gov.uk

  • Website - If you have come across a website which you think is fake, you can report it here - https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/section/about-this-website/report-scam-website

  • Text message - Report suspicious text messages for free to 7726. Your provider can investigate the text and take action if found to be fraudulent.

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Original message sent by Mark Irvine (Police Scotland, Constable, A Div - Grampian)

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