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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.



This messaging system is not for reporting crime as responses are not monitored 24/7.  If you have time-critical information regarding the content of the above message, or if you wish to report any other non-urgent matter, please call 101.  In an emergency, call 999.

Police Scotland's North East Division covers rural and urban areas in Moray, Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City.  The division has five territorial command areas which have their own dedicated Area Commander, who is responsible for the daily policing function.  Each command area is served by a number of community policing teams whose activities are built around the needs of the local community.  These teams respond to local calls and look for long term solutions to key issues.  They are assisted by the division's Crime Reduction Unit who deliver against Force and local priorities in a number of areas, including physical and social crime prevention, supporting and enhancing community engagement and creating and sustaining strong and effective partnership working.


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Message Sent By
Michael Urquhart
(Police Scotland, PC, A Div - North East Crime Reduction Team)

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