Criminals are targeting victims by pretending they’re from the bank’s fraud team.

This emerging crime trend is happening across the whole of Scotland and is not specific to any one bank or branch. We request that you share this message, and in particular highlight it to any vulnerable members of your family, your business or your customer/client base. Please be aware of the following scam, let’s ensure no one else falls victim of this crime.

The criminals pretend to be working for the victim’s bank. They call them and claim to be a member of the bank’s fraud team. After a series of calls, they are advised a fraud has been attempted on their account and they suspect the banking staff are responsible.

They are then advised to carry out a course of action, similar to these below to protect their money.

  • Attend your bank and withdraw the funds, tell the staff it is for a specific purpose (car, DIY project etc)  Do not advise the staff member that the fraud team has contacted you, as staff are under investigation.  Once you have withdrawn all the funds, an ‘undercover police officer’ will meet you and take your money to keep it safe until the investigation is complete.


  • Transfer all your funds into a “safe account until” the investigation is complete.  A sort code and account number are then provided to allow for the transfer. The “safe account” details belong to the fraudster.


  • Withdraw all your funds, attend at a specific retail premises (usually a jewellery store) purchase a specific expensive item.  You will be met by an ‘undercover police officer’ who will keep the item safe until the investigation is complete.


It is important to spread the message that these scenarios would NEVER be carried out legitimately by your bank or Police Scotland.  If you receive a call similar to this, please hang up and call Police Scotland on 101.  Then report the incident to your branch through contact details you already have or attend the branch in person if you can.

  • A bank or payment card company will never ask you to transfer money out of your account to another that you do not recognise. You should hang up immediately.
  • Never provide financial or personal details to a caller. You can always call back on a number you know to be authentic. You should call this from a different device or call a friend first to make sure that the scammer is not connected to the phone line. Many scammers will have the ability to spoof numbers to fool you in to thinking they are genuine.
  • If possible, note the number you received the call from as this may assist with the ongoing investigation.
  • 159 is the memorable, secure number that connects you directly to your bank if you think you’re being scammed.
  • Report scams to Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000.
Police Scotland
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