Belfast Telegraph

£60k stolen from Antrim man in fraud campaign

Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said more than £70,000 has been stolen during incidents of fraud in October
Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said more than £70,000 has been stolen during incidents of fraud in October

A Co Antrim man in his fifties has had £60,000 stolen from him following a fraud campaign carried out by three men.

It involved a number of calls to the victim's landline last Wednesday.

The first call was from a man claiming to be from his phone company, telling the victim his internet line had been hacked and that he would need to download software to his PC.

The man then received a call from a 'cybercrime investigator', who told him there had been fraudulent activity within the victim's bank and telling him his funds were insecure.

A third man, posing as the head of the bank, then convinced the victim to set up a new bank account, to which £60,000 was subsequently transferred.

It's the second such incident brought to the attention of the PSNI this month, after a Co Armagh man received an email, supposedly from his account, requesting him to transfer an amount of £12,782 to a specified account number, belonging to HMRC.

Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said: "The email contained specific details, which led the victim to believe it was authentic.  He subsequently made the requested transfer before finding out, from his real accountant, that the email was in fact fraudulent."

Of the Antrim incident, Chief Superintendent Walls said: "This was a carefully calculated and despicable act, which involved the collaboration of several individuals.

"To many, £60,000 is a lifetime of savings. This is a huge financial blow, as well as a loss of one’s trust and confidence.

"Our message is simple – never disclose your personal or banking details to anyone over the phone or online, no matter how convincing they may seem, and never allow an unauthorised person to have access to such details via your computer.

"If you have any concerns about unsolicited calls, emails or letters then please report it to Action Fraud via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2040.  You can also call police on the non-emergency number 101."

"For further advice and information visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni

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