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Warning to public after £40k scams

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By Joseph Gartly
Dumfries and West

SCAMS which have cost two individuals over £40,000 have prompted a warning to the public.

Police say it is ‘frightening’ that scammers were able to gain remote access to laptops in order to transfer money from the victims’ accounts.
PC Siobhan Pellett from Stranraer Community Policing Unit said: “We are asking people to be very, very careful when answering a cold call from someone who tries to gain remote access to their computer in order to rectify an alleged fault.”
The first scam occurred when a 71-year-old woman was conned out of £10,000 by a caller who claimed to be from BT Openworld, claiming that the victim was due a refund.
The caller was able to access and take control of the victim’s computer, taking £10,000 from her bank account.
In the second incident a 60-year-old woman from Stranraer was called from someone who claimed they were from BT Technical Support, and that they were calling because of problems with the victim’s Internet.
The caller was again able to gain remote access to the victim’s computer and from there access to their bank accounts.
The process took a long time to complete, with the victim only finding out about the incident when she was informed by her bank that £30,000 had been removed.
PC Pellett said: “The ease with which these people seem to be able to gain access to their victim’s computer is frightening and the sums of money being taken are substantial.”
And reinforcing her warning to the public, she added: “Our message is worth repeating once again that people should never, never give out any banking details or account numbers over the telephone.
“Banks, building societies and reputable businesses never ask for this information.”

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