The local Scambusters Shetland partnership is reminding people to keep on their guard against scam callers pretending to be from their bank.
“Greater security precautions were put in place by banks this time last year,” says David Marsh, Trading Standards Team Leader for Shetland Islands Council and Chair of the Shetland Financial Harm Sub-Committee, “but we continue to hear about local folk being caught out by scammers and losing thousands of pounds.”
Scammers often use clever and sophisticated tricks to make their calls seem believable – the number displayed on your phone handset may look like a genuine bank contact number, the caller may have a Scottish or English accent, and the story they tell may seem very convincing.
The caller is also likely to urge you to respond quickly, not giving you time to think through what they are asking you to do.
But these are all ploys to try to gain your trust and prevent you from questioning what is happening.
Don’t ever reveal personal banking details to someone who calls you out of the blue.
Put down the phone, make sure your line is clear by phoning someone you know, and then phone your bank using a number you can trust (such as the one on the back of your bank card or on your statement).
If you’re aged 70 or over, your bank may have given you a specific number to call for dedicated support.
If the caller was genuine, they won’t mind you making sure – and you could be saving yourself from a lot of heartache and trouble.