Manx residents have been the target of a telephone scam where fraudsters pretend to be from Isle of Man Bank.

The scam led to one island charity losing tens of thousands of pounds, with other victims also facing substantial financial losses.

That is according to Cyber Security Centre for the Isle of Man (CSC) which has published its latest Cyber Threat Update report.

The report says: ‘Unlike less-convincing automated “robo-calls”, these scammers spoke to their victims directly, claiming that there were suspicious transactions on their accounts and that money needed to be moved to a safe bank account, which was the criminal’s bank account.

‘In some or all instances, scammers seemed to know the victim’s name and this, no doubt, created a sense of trust and legitimacy to the calls.

‘The scammers were so convincing that they encouraged their victims to visit their local branch to arrange the bank transfer in person.’

It adds: ‘The ability of some criminals to socially engineer victims is sophisticated and many victims of scams are surprised by how convincing the criminals can be.

‘However, allowing yourself a moment of pause to think about and question what you are being asked to do is the best defence.’

In another scam during the period of September and October, a woman was subject to a crypto investment scam.

A friend of the victim’s Instagram was filled with posts about large amounts of money made via crypto currency trading.

The victim then engaged with the friend over four days over Instagram message, and asked about investment advice and coaching.

Following on from the conversations, the victim was convinced to invest £500 through Bitcoin into the scheme via an investment coach.

The report adds: ‘Once the money was in her Bitcoin wallet, they instructed her to send it to her account so the “investment coach” could invest it on her behalf.

‘Once the money was sent they provided the victim with a URL which directed them to a very convincing looking trading website and directed her to create an account to view any profit.

‘Within a few hours the website showed the victim she had made a profit of £12,300, however, to receive the profit the account would have to be upgraded by depositing another £2,500.

‘Upon doing this, the victim became suspicious and directly contacted her friend outside of Instagram, who then confirmed their Instagram account had been hacked and they had no way of recovering it.’

The scam was made all the more convincing by the fact that the initial point of contact was a trusted friend, adding authenticity to the scam, as well as the professional look of some of the trading websites with them sometimes looking better than legitimate trading websites, according to CSC.