SEVERAL islanders have had money removed from their bank accounts through a phone scam.

Now the Comhairle's Trading Standards service has urged people to be vigilant when answering the phone.

 

Said a spokesman: "The consumer receives a call from a person claiming to be from their bank who says that there has been some suspicious activity in their account and they have to check some details.

"In an attempt to prove to the consumer that this is a genuine call from the bank, the caller encourages the consumer to phone their bank on the number given on the rear of their bank card.  Although the consumer finishes the call and phones the bank number, the caller has kept the line open at their end and intercepts the call.  Wrongly assuming that he is talking to a genuine bank official, the consumer is then conned into providing personal bank details which the bogus caller uses to steal money from the consumer’s account."

He added: "There are several ways that consumers can protect themselves.  They should never divulge any personal information to anyone who calls them out of the blue, no matter who they say they are.  Reputable businesses never operate in this manner.  If using the phone after receiving such a phone call, consumers should ensure that they hear the dialling tone before dialling the number”.

Anyone wishing to provide information or seek advice on this, or any other scam, can contact Trading Standards on 01851 822694 or Police Scotland on 101.