Fraudsters steal from delegates attending conferences at Edinburgh hotels


FRAUDSTERS have stolen thousands from people attending business conferences at a string of Edinburgh hotels. 

The thieves struck on three occasions and stole banks cards, driving licenses and other personal items from their victims. 

The Novotel and the Apex City Hotel were targeted on 26 January and the Carlton Highland Hotel the day after. 

After stealing the personal items from the delegates the fraudsters contacted them in order to try and obtain more information that could help them access their bank accounts, including PIN numbers. 

In each case they were successful in obtaining cash from victims’ accounts, with a combined total of approximately £10,000 stolen. 

A police spokesman said: “On every occasion the victim’s bank card was stolen, along with other items of information, following which the victim would receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from the bank fraud department, alerting them to suspicious transactions on their account. 

“The caller has been described as sounding professional and very plausible, and after encouraging the victim to go to their local police station to report the matter, they ask them to reveal their PIN number, which is something that a bank would never ask an account holder to do over the phone. 

“Anyone who receives such a phone call after having their bank card stolen should not give out any personal information, least of all their PIN number. 

“Instead, they should call their bank to verify that the call is genuine, and report the matter immediately to the police.”