Police in Glenrothes are warning the public to be on their guard and appealing for any information following recent reports of financial scams in the area.

In each of the two incidents this week, the victims have been phoned at home by someone claiming to be from a bank who is investigating a fraud and asking for their assistance.

The victims are then asked to go to their local branches and take out large sums of money. The fraudsters also tell the victims responses to give if bank staff ask questions. Someone then comes to their home or meets them to collect the money.

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Detective Sergeant Alasdair Young said: “The people who carry out these crimes are despicable. They target the most vulnerable members of our community and try and steal their life savings.

“Bank staff will never contact you and ask you to withdraw or transfer money, or help with a fraud investigation.  We urge people to be aware of these calls and to ensure that their elderly or vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours are also aware of these types of scams.

“These criminals are very well-rehearsed, sound knowledgeable, and can be extremely convincing, particularly to someone who may not be used to handling online accounts that they don’t use regularly.

“I would encourage anyone who receives a call from someone claiming to be from their bank or financial institution to make sure the person calling is genuine.

“If in doubt hang up, wait a few minutes and contact the bank using the phone number on the back of your card or official paperwork. When you do make the call ensure that the dialling tone can be heard or use a mobile phone to make the call if possible. If the caller is genuine they will understand your hesitation, don’t feel pressured to handing over details or withdrawing money.”

“We are encouraging the public to help us track these individuals down. If you have any information that may help please contact 101 quoting reference number 3224 of 19 September. We urge people to report any incidents of this nature to us through 101”