Warning after widow contacted by phone scammer
The police have warned people to beware of fraudulent phone calls after a Lerwick woman was contacted by a scammer pretending to be from a bank.
Jennifer Watt warned people to be extra vigilant after her mother Effie was called by a man called Harold Duvall who purported to be from a company called Metrobank MS Ltd.
Mr Duvall said that Mrs Watt’s late husband James, who died two years ago, had £152,000 in shares that had to be claimed before they were confiscated by the government. He had sounded “very plausible” and even gave an account number for his bank.
But Ms Watt, who had taken the phone from her mother, smelled a rat when the huge value of the shares was mentioned. Her suspicions grew when Mr Duvall wanted a bank account number and sort code from Mrs Watt as well as a “release fee” which would be necessary to prevent the authorities seizing the money.
She said: “It was a new one on me, like something out of Heir Hunters, and I think he was trying to pass himself off as an heir hunter.”
When Ms Watt asked for company details and a phone number, the man hung up.
Householders who receive any fraudulent calls are being urged to report them to police on 101 to help the force build an idea of the type of scam and who the cheats are targeting. People should also report the matter to trading standards. Bank details, credit card numbers or PINs should never been given over the phone to strangers.
More advice is available on the Police Scotland website.