Warning after high value "vishing" frauds in Highland area

Issued by Police Scotland

Police in the Highlands are urging businesses to be on their guard against vishing and spoofing fraud after a number of businesses were recently defrauded out of almost £2.5million.

The incidents against a number of businesses occurred between 19 July and 30 July 2017 and happened after companies received calls from individuals claiming to work for their bank using genuine-looking communications. They operate by stating that their account has been compromised and persuade victims to transfer money to a 'safe account' in a number of transactions.

The fraudsters often use spoof numbers, making the call appear as though it is coming from a genuine bank number. It is for this reason police advise that if you call your bank back, you should use a different phone to the one the initial call was received on.

Detective Inspector Iain McPhail from the Economic Crime and Financial Investigation Unit said: "These fraudsters are very convincing and have managed to obtain a significant amount of money from local businesses. We have launched a thorough investigation into these incidents and are working with the companies' relevant banks. Some of the money that companies have lost has been recovered and work is ongoing to try and recover as much money as possible.

"These incidents are devastating for the people that fall victim to the scams. We are urging the public to be on their guard against unsolicited calls and be suspicious if someone reporting to be from your bank requests any of your bank or personal details as they should already have them.

"Always double check numbers you're given to call back on or call through the main customer care number for the organisation and ask to be put through. If you decide to ring back and verify the call it is advisable to do so on a different phone line like another landline or your mobile. If you are still unsure, consider visiting your local branch instead of speaking to someone over the phone."

1 Aug 2017