POLICE have issued a warning after a number of people lost large sums of cash to criminals pretending they were phoning from their bank's fraud department.

The fraudsters told the victims, all in the Borders and East Lothian, that there had been unusual activity on their accounts and they should hang up and call the emergency number on the back of their bank cards.

But the bogus callers kept the phone lines open, before transferring the callers to a fake bank agent who then obtained enough personal details for the criminals to transfer large amounts of money out of their accounts.

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DI Dave Pinkney, of Police Scotland, said: "If you think you have been subject to this type of call either contact the emergency number using a separate phone, or phone a person you know to check whether the line has been kept open."