A THREE-MINUTE phone call cost a Mauchline resident more than £10,000 after he was targeted by a scammer.

The businessman took a call supposedly from his bank, just after 6pm on June 10, which informed him that his account had been hacked and he would have to move his money.

He was given an account number and sort code which, having been convinced by the tone of the caller’s urgency, he did so — but reality set in shortly after.

His worst fears were realised when he contacted his branch in Cumnock and was given the devastating news that £10,500 had been taken.

Another innocent person had fallen victim to a fraudulent scheme and is now counting the cost of being taken in by the scammer.

Safer Communities Officer, PC Craig Marshall, said: “In another recent case, a woman in another part of East Ayrshire lost £100,000 in similar circumstances.

“She had always said, as do most people, that she would never fall for such a call, but she became another victim.

“People have to realise that banks will not phone customers if they suspect an incident of hacking. They will freeze an account if there are any suspicious transactions.

“If you receive a phone call that you are unsure of, contact your bank immediately using another phone and using their number which is on your statement or on their website — do not call the number you have been given.”

Further advice includes — A genuine bank or organisation will never ask you to move money to another account, nor ask for your PIN or full password.

Only give out your personal or financial details to use a service that you have given your consent to, that you trust and that you are expecting to be contacted by.

Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

If you’re approached with a request for personal information, don’t provide it. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.

A spokesman for Bank of Scotland added: “Keeping our customers’ money safe is our top priority. We are seriously committed to helping them avoid falling victim to fraud, as well as providing the right support.

“We encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim of fraud to contact their bank at the earliest opportunity.

“We are an active supporter of a national campaign led by UK Finance, called Take Five to Stop Fraud, which urges people to take a moment to think about whether a person or company contacting them is genuine before taking any action.”

Contact your bank, police on 101 or Crimestoppers at 0800 555 111 if you suspect any attempted fraudulent activity.