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Call for 'war on scams' as elderly couple lose £60,000 in phone rip-off

12 Oct 2011

Citizens Advice Scotland have urged people to ‘declare war on scams,’ after reports that an elderly couple were robbed of £60,000 in a hoax phone call.

The Perthshire couple, aged 88 and 90, reportedly gave their bank details over the phone to a ‘cold-caller’ who claimed to be investigating criminal activity at their bank.*

CAS Head of Policy Susan McPhee said,

“This is a very distressing case, but sadly it is not an isolated one. CAB advisers regularly report instances of cold-calling. Sometimes the criminals target particular areas, or vulnerable groups like the elderly. But it can happen to anyone, and these cons are often very sophisticated and convincing. There is no shame in being caught out by them.

“Anyone who has been a victim of this kind of crime should contact the police and the local Trading Standards Office. You should do this whether the scam was successful or not. It’s vital to raise awareness that these things are happening, so that others can be on their guard.

“We must all remain vigilant. Never give your financial details to anyone you are unsure of. And, given that elderly and vulnerable people are often targeted, it’s also important that we all keep an eye on elderly relatives and neighbours, to make sure they are aware of the dangers and know how to respond if they are contacted in this way.

“These kind of crimes play on peoples’ trust, and it’s very sad to think that in these difficult times some people are willing to take advantage of their fellow citizens in such a callous way. So let’s work together and declare war on scams, by remaining vigilant, reporting all incidents, and spreading the word to others to do the same.”

The Scottish CAB service is currently collecting evidence on scams like this. We will be publishing our evidence later this month.

For interviews etc please call Tony Hutson on 0131 550 1010. NB This is the number of the CAS Press Office, for use by journalists only. If you are a member of the public looking for CAB advice please contact your local bureau.

* The story is reported by BBC Scotland at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-15275705

ENDS

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