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Charges over bank card scam

Fourteen people have been charged over a £300,000 scam targeting mainly elderly victims.

Police Station

Detectives involved in the UK-wide investigation said 34 people had been affected by the scheme, with many losing their life savings.

Just under half of them were in the Central Scotland Police area. The force led the inquiry into the fraud.

They were allegedly telephoned by people pretending to be bank officials or police officers who claimed there was a problem with their bank account or cards.

They were then persuaded to give their bank details or hand over their card to a courier.

Police said 13 people had money taken, while 21 others were targeted but did not hand over any cash.

Complex fraud

Detective Sergeant Frank McCann said: "We became aware of this scheme last summer and we set up an investigation which revealed it was complex and spanned the whole of the UK.

"Thirteen people in our force area had more than £300,000 taken from them. In some cases their life savings were taken. There were attempts to defraud 21 other people out of their money.

"As our inquiries progressed we discovered that many of these crimes had links to similar crimes being investigated in other forces. We set up Operation Jenga and made sure that information was shared with the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement agency as well as forces throughout Scotland and the rest of UK."

He added that anyone contacted over the phone and asked to provide their bank details should end the call immediately. He said: "Neither banks nor the police will ever call and ask for your bank details. You will never be asked to provide your pin number and if you are you should never divulge it."

Charged with multiple crimes

The force said 14 people had been reported to the procurator fiscal, charged with multiple crimes - including being the courier sent to collect bank cards, or allowing bank accounts to be used to transfer money.

For further information visit the Scottish Police website.

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