A LARGS businessman told how sophisticated scammers moved thousands of pounds from his bank account as they tried to fleece him of his savings.

David Lyle, 72, has spoken out in a bid to put other people on their guard and said the cruel con left him feeling 'mentally mugged'.

He almost lost £8,000 in a similar scam to the one that almost saw a West Kilbride travel agent lose £50,000.

We reported last week how LAH Travel manageress Linda Hill was targeted by the fraudsters who tried to empty her various accounts.

David, of Meadowbank Road, contacted is after reading Linda's story - and said he almost fell into the same trap.

The fraudsters even managed to get access to David's account and transfer funds about as they attempted to persuade him to set up a new pin number.

David said: "It was like being the victim of a burglary but thankfully I managed to avoid being cleaned out.

"As Linda said, they are very convincing scammers and everybody needs to be made aware."

David explained how he received a call from someone claiming to be from the Royal Bank of Scotland's fraud department.

He added: ""They were telling me that I had £1,700 in a business account which had just been moved to a person in Bath. It just so happened that the name given was the same as a colleague.

"I was then told savings of £6,000 had gone into another payee's account

"They put you under pressure as they tell you that 'you need to be careful as these actions are taking place as we speak' - but it turns out he was the fraudster was moving the money about the different accounts himself.

"I was told that that the account needed to be shut down and a new pin set up.

"It was only when the person on the end of the line called me Mr Kyle instead of Mr Lyle that I started to get suspicious as I thought it was an unusual mistake to make.

"I didn't like the way the conversation was going but they said look at the number 545454 - it is the same number as the bank, and then they asked me for pin entry.

"Eventually he gave me a phone number to call back on but I checked and it didn't exist as a bank number so I knew it was a scam.

"I contacted RBS customer services and was told it was a high level fraud but was assured that none of my money was gone.

"I had given the fraudsters my personal account number but was saved because I never gave them my pin number."

David added: "The fact that the fraudsters were moving the funds about to make it look like someone else was staggering."

David moved to Largs from Berkshire where he had been involved in food sales, and has now had his cards cancelled.

He said: "I have to say, I was panicking when I realised what was happening - it feels like you are being mentally mugged.

"They are clever, devious people. It's easy to believe what they are telling you."

A Royal Bank of Scotland spokesperson said: “We remind all of our customers to be vigilant against any type of scam especially when receiving calls or text messages from phone numbers appearing to come from their bank."