A WOMAN has lost tens of thousands of pounds after falling victim to a cruel telephone scam.

She transferred a huge sum out of her bank account after being duped by a devious con artist.

The 62-year-old from Kilmacolm was contacted at 9am on Wednesday by someone claiming to be from the Royal Bank of Scotland fraud squad.

They claimed they were investigating local banks for fraud and persuaded her to make four transfers amounting to tens of thousands of pounds.

The scammer informed the victim not to contact the bank as this would 'disrupt the fraud investigation'.

Police have launched an inquiry and are today reminding people to always be suspicious of people  claiming to be from the banks.

A spokesman said: “Always be suspicious of cold callers claiming to be from your bank, or indeed any other company such as an electricity supplier or HMRC, and especially if the call involves transferring money.

“Reputable organisations should not ask you for your banking details or password by phone. Never share any personal details or financial details and do not be rushed or panicked into providing details or taking any action. Pause, think, ask, and if in any doubt contact Police Scotland on 101 for advice.”

Further advice on preventing fraud can be accessed on the Police Scotland website, Action Fraud website or Financial Fraud Action UK.

Anyone with information about a crime can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.