A CHANCE encounter has prevented an elderly man from Innerleithen being conned out of £8,500 in a telephone scam.

The victim was on his way to the bank to transfer the money out of his account when he bumped into his daughter-in-law, who realised something was amiss.

Details of the incident were revealed in a police report to Innerleithen community council on Monday, October 2.

It describes how the man had received a phone call on September 4, from a female claiming to be from the Bank of Scotland, stating a discrepancy with his bank account. 

The call was transferred to a male called ‘David’, who had a South African accent, asking the gentleman to go to the bank and transfer £8,500 to a particular account.

Inspector Tony Hodges from Galashiels Police Station told us: “It is important for our communities to remember that neither your bank, nor police will call you to discuss discrepancies with your account and neither will we ask for you to transfer money as a safety precauttion.

“If you receive a call of this nature, it is a scam and do not comply with the caller’s request. Hang up and contact police.

“Never give out any of your personal information to a caller unless you are absolutely certain they are who they claim to be and if you have any genuine concers about activity on your bank account then visit your local branch and speak with a bona fide staff member.

“We have a range of useful advice on keeping safe from fraudsters on our website.”

The warnings follow a series of telephone scams over the past year.

As previously reported, these include an 86-year-old man from Peebles who was conned out of more than £20,000 in March by fraudsters claiming to be from the Royal Bank of Scotland. 

In February, a 79-year-old woman from Kelso was conned out of a four-figure sum in a similar telephone scam.

For further advice, visit www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/personal-safety/identity-theft-fraud-and-scams and refer to the section on bogus phone callers.