Elderly targeted by scammers
Following reports of two elderly men being scammed in the Grampian area, Police Scotland
is encouraging you to discuss the risk of fraud and scamming with elderly relatives, friends and neighbours.
This advice comes after an elderly male in Aberdeen was scammed out of £20,000. Criminals contacted
the victim by telephone and persuaded him to buy online gift cards as part of an elaborate investment scam.
In a separate incident an 81 year old male from Aberdeenshire was phoned by criminals pretending to
be from the fraud department at his bank. The scammer then told him to withdraw £2750 in cash from his
bank with instructions to inform bank staff it was for a 'kitchen renovation.' He was then told to post
the parcel and to tell staff it was a cash gift for a family friend.
These criminals are experts at what they do. They can spend a great deal of time researching their
victims or will use generic information to get a 'hook' ie the name of the bank. As the method of
contact in these cases was by telephone, older people could be more at risk of falling prey to these
scammers as they are often at home to answer the calls.
The bank, Police, HMRC or anyone claiming to be from a ‘specialist fraud department’ will never call out
of the blue, or advise of fraudulent activities in the bank and ask for assistance. All phone calls like this are a scam.
Adult Protection Officer Alison Lynch said:
"Family and friends should try and have the conversation about scamming, but sometimes it is difficult for
people to discuss money or think that they have been scammed, particularly if they are older. Therefore it is
vitally important to look for any signs that someone is being scammed. This can be a change in spending habits
or appearance or that they seem anxious or fearful when the phone rings. It can be extremely difficult for
anyone to think that they have been scammed and can be ashamed or embarrassed to think that it happened to them,
but this should not be the case. These people can are extremely plausible, will sound genuine and go to great
lengths to convince people that they are genuine."
If anyone receives a phone call that they are not sure about, stay sceptical and seek advice from family,
friends or the bank. If no personal details are given out, your money will be safe. Call the bank to put
your mind at ease by using 159 from a home phone or mobile. This guarantees a secure line to the bank to be
able to verify phone calls.
For more information, read the document "Avoiding Scams" from Age Scotland HERE
Original message sent by Michael Urquhart (Police Scotland, PC, A Div - North East Crime Reduction Team)
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