Galloway pensioner loses thousands in scam

Landlines are being targetted
Landlines are being targetted

A Galloway pensioner has become the latest victim of a phone scammer who has been targeting trusting elderly folk.

The 84-year-old woman has been conned out of £11,000 by someone claiming to work for BT.

The imposter called her “out of the blue” and told an attempt had been made to hack her bank account.

The woman, from Castle Douglas, was subsequently taken in and convinced to transfer the money by the caller.

No-one knows why this part of Scotland has become a hunting ground for heartless scammers making vulnerable elderly people unwittingly hand over their cash into illegal hands.

Police Scotland said calls in this area from people claiming to be from BT or a broadband provider were “very common” and urged the public to be aware.

A BT spokesman said: “We’ll never call a customer to ask for personal information, including bank details unexpectedly and we’ll never call from an ‘unknown’ number.

“If you’re suspicious, or uncomfortable about what’s being asked, we always recommend that you hang up the phone, and call the customer service number of the company that is supposedly asking for access to your computer or your personal information.”

The company said customers should never share their BT account number with anyone and always shred bills.

It advised people to “be wary” of unexpected calls or emails and said they should not share personal information even if someone quoted their account number.

In October Police Scotland issued a warning after two people in the Newton Stewart and Stewartry area were duped into moving money to a scammer’s account. One 76 year old gentleman lost a four figure sum from his savings.

Anyone receiving a suspicious call should contact police on the 101 number immediately.

For further advice on how to foil the fraudsters please go to www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/personal-safety