AN ELDERLY couple were conned into transferring more than £25,000 into bank accounts over the phone by a fraudster.

Police investigating the incidents described the scammer involved as "despicable".

They revealed the couple, who live in North Berwick, were contacted on Thursday last week and persuaded to transfer a four-figure sum into a Santander account before being conned into transferring £25,000 into a Barclays account.

Suspicions were only raised the following day when they were contacted again and asked to withdraw another four-figure sum and went to their bank.

Police said the couple - a 75-year-old woman and 82-year-old man - were told by their bank it was likely to be a scam and no further money was withdrawn.

Local Community Police Inspector Andy Hill appealed to people to be on the alert for fraudsters.

He said: “Such incidents are fortunately rare, however, there are a small number of despicable individuals who specifically target the elderly and vulnerable to defraud them out of money.

"On this occasion it appears that the caller has falsely informed the couple that this information came from a bank and furthermore, that police were aware of the activity and would assist with the transfer.

"Often these fraudulent callers sound extremely convincing and authentic but we would urge the public to remain vigilant.

"If you are in any doubt that a call is not genuine then please hang up the phone and report the matter to your bank using either a contact number that you 100% know to be genuine or by attending at your bank in person.

"Police Scotland and financial authorities take such scams and bogus callers of any kind very seriously”.

For further advice on fraud prevention please see