POLICE in South Ayrshire are warning people to be wary of potential "high value bank fraud" in the area.

It comes after two pensioners from the area fell victims to scams over the past few weeks.

The two women, aged 80 and 93, had four-figure sums of money taken from them as a result of the scams.

Enquiries remain ongoing into these incidents.

Officers are now offering advice on how to avoid such instances, in light of these recent high-value bank frauds.

They say that the scammers typically contact their victims by phone at home and claim they are from their bank, and there is a problem with their account, or they have been a victim of fraud or theft.

They added that perpetrators may also say they have concerns regarding local bank staff and ask for help testing security procedures.

They convince the caller they are genuine, then ask the victim to transfer funds, apply for banking products, or ask them to visit their local branch to withdraw money and check that staff are responding appropriately.

Chief Inspector Kevin Lammie, area commander for South Ayrshire, commented: “These fraudsters are heartless and have no conscience. They prey on the most vulnerable people in our communities and steal their life savings.

“I would urge everyone with an elderly relative or neighbour to make them aware of this type of fraud as soon as possible.

“These crimes significantly impact victims when they discover they have fallen for a scam, and the financial loss can be devastating.

“The fraudsters use sophisticated tactics and go to great lengths to appear legitimate, including making it appear they are calling from a genuine bank number and may even have personal details.

"It is important to remember that a true caller from your bank will never ask for your banking details as they already have them. They will never ask you to withdraw money or disclose personal financial information."

While the top officer added advice on what to do if you suspect you have received a call which is not genuine.

He continued: “If you receive a call of this nature, do not engage with the caller and hang up – it’s a scam. If you are unsure, take a few moments to think.

"Call your bank on the number on the back of your card, ideally using a different phone, or attend your local branch for advice.

"If you have any doubts, end the call and ask a friend, relative or the Police for advice. Any victims of these crimes or anyone with information or concerns regarding calls they have received should contact 101.

"Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.”