Belfast Telegraph

Alert after scammers fleece Tyrone firm of £50k in online fraud

Warning: PSNI’s Simon Walls
Warning: PSNI’s Simon Walls
Adrian Rutherford

By Adrian Rutherford

A Co Tyrone business was conned out of £50,000 by scammers, police have revealed.

A senior officer said cases are reported daily to the PSNI, with people often losing significant amounts of money.

The victims include a woman in her 70s.

In one of the biggest cases, a Co Tyrone business had its emails compromised or spoofed.

Emails were received which resulted in three separate payments being made to a scammer - a total of just under £50,000.

The incident was reported on August 29, but details were only released yesterday.

Police said enquiries are ongoing to establish what occurred and to see if the money can be recouped.

On September 11 a woman aged in her 70s and from Lisburn was conned out of approximately £2,000.

The woman lost the money after she was contacted by someone claiming to be from a telecoms provider.

The victim was told her router had been hacked and access was needed to her laptop, where she was persuaded to download two programmes.

This enabled the scammers to take her money, which has not been recovered.

The following day, September 12, scammers attempted to get a woman to transfer £10,000 to an account.

The woman had been in conversation with a man online, and he asked her to transfer the money.

But when she went to her bank in the Lisburn area staff realised something was amiss, the scam was thwarted and no money was lost.

PSNI Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said everyone needs to be vigilant.

"There is plenty of advice available to ensure you are scam aware," he said.

"For businesses, we advise checking thoroughly before making any payment.

"Double check that the accounts to which the payments are being made are the correct accounts and never disclose account details to any unauthorised person or allow anyone access to them via your computer."

Earlier this week it emerged scammers had targeted a care home resident in Northern Ireland with advanced dementia.

A woman in her 80s, who cannot walk or talk, received a letter offering money, which was addressed to her and sent to the care home that provides her with round-the-clock care.

Her family raised concerns that scammers are deliberately setting their sights on people living in care homes.

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