Kirkcaldy pensioner warns of telephone scammers

Locals are being warned about scam calls
Locals are being warned about scam calls

A Kirkcaldy pensioner is urging locals to beware of telephone scammers after being bombarded with fraudulent calls.

The 85-year-old is warning people, particularly the elderly, to remain vigilant after claiming he was targeted by fraudsters trying to extort money from him.

The pensioner, who doesn’t want to be named, said he used to receive the odd call, but recently has been contacted at least three times a day.

He said: “In one of the calls they told me I had signed over my financial affairs in a block package deal. I just told them I had done no such thing and hung up the phone.

“Then that same day I got another call from a woman who claimed she was from Microsoft and said my computer was going to crash and again I just put the phone down.

“I then got another call from someone who said I was going to be investigated by the Inland Revenue. The voice said they had appointed someone to my case and if I wanted to talk to them I was to press button two on my phone, I knew it was a scam so I didn’t do it.

“I am lucky as I still have all my faculties but there are other elderly people who aren’t as savvy and might be tricked into giving them their account details. I want to warn them not to give any information.”

The warning comes as three elderly men were recently targeted in an HMRC scam in Kirkcaldy. Two of the men, aged 85 and 89, ended up being defrauded of thousands of pounds, purchasing iTunes vouchers, having been told they had an outstanding tax balance.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Those who take part in this type of criminality have a blatant disregard for their victims, deliberately targeting vulnerable people and preying on their good nature.

“They use scare tactics by claiming that they are investigating fraudulent activity so their victims don’t report it for fear of ruining the investigation, and even go as far as to give them a cover story for why they are moving such large sums of money.

“We work closely with banks and other organisations to help them spot this kind of fraud but we need everyone to be vigilant and look out for family, friends and neighbours, particularly if they are elderly or vulnerable.

“No organisations will ever make phone calls like this and ask you to move money - if you do receive such a call, hang up and call police.”

She added: “We have a range of useful advice and guidance on our website that can prevent members of the public being targeted. This can be obtained by visiting www.scotland.police.uk. Alternatively, you can call 101 to also receive this information.”