Mull on alert after scam
Scammers have duped thousands of pounds out of people on Mull in a spate of fake bank calls.
The Oban Times understands more than 10 people in Tobermory have lost money to the ‘convincing’ scam and others living in Dervaig also received calls from people pretending to be from the Clydesdale Bank’s own fraud squad.
A friend of a woman on Mull tricked out of £2,500 contacted The Oban Times to warn others to be vigilant.
She said the woman felt ‘violated’.
Neither of the women would be named but wanted to stop the same thing happening to others.
The friend said: ‘She is just beside herself. She burst into tears when she told me. She said they have taken everything, she has nothing left. All her savings have gone. She feels violated.
‘My friend is one of the nicest people you would want to meet. She would do anything for anyone. She’s heartbroken over all of this.
‘The phone call said they were from the bank’s own fraud squad. They even gave her a Clydesdale bank number to ring them back on. It was only when she went to the bank the next day she discovered money had gone from her account. She had worked hard all summer to save that. She doesn’t know who she can trust anymore. She won’t talk to anyone on the phone now because she can’t see a face.’
According to the friend, she knew of 12 people affected in Tobermory and said there
were others in Dervaig. ‘People feel so embarrassed they’ve been taken in by it,’ she added.
When The Oban Times asked Sergeant Chris Edwards, the new community policing sergeant for Oban, Lorn and the Isles, about the numbers of people caught up in the scams, he said enquires were on-going.
Clydesdale Bank also said it was taking the fraud ‘extremely seriously’ and was monitoring for any other instance of ‘unusual activity’.
Spoofing a phone number can be done with apps and software, making it easy for criminals to impersonate a bank’s phone number.
Clydesdale Bank said it regularly communicates with customers on how to protect themselves from financial fraud and wanted to reiterate that it would never call a customer and ask them to divulge personal information.
Sgt Edwards said: ‘We’re aware of recent telephone scams on the isle of Mull and Tobermory area. Enquiries are on-going for these incidents.
‘If anyone does receive a phone call asking for these details or telling you about suspicious activity on your account, go into your local branch or phone your bank using a different telephone.
‘Alternatively, wait until you have heard a dialling tone before phoning your bank – some fraudulent callers keep the line open and you could end up calling them back.’
The Oban Times previously reported several thousands of pounds was taken from the account of another Mull woman duped into disclosing her internet banking details.
Last week police reported it had happened again after a different woman revealed passwords and was also scammed out of a large sum of money.
In a separate scam in August, an elderly Oban woman was conned out of hundreds of pounds by a man tricking her into believing she was in an online relationship with him.
He said he needed her to buy him iTunes gift card vouchers and send him the codes from the cards.
Another scam to watch pretends to be from HMRC saying there is a tax bill that needs urgent payment and can be done so with gift vouchers.