Belfast Telegraph

Appeal to victims as police hunt Holywood fraudster who stole money

Police have appealed for two victims to come forward after fears they were both defrauded by the same man.

Detectives in Bangor received two reports of fraud on March 14 involving members of the public in the Holywood area.

It was reported both victims had been befriended by a man who convinced them both to lend him money.

In one report the victim was convinced to give money to the man to help develop a business idea. He further convinced her to lend him another sum of money.

After a lengthy period, the woman had received just a fraction of the money she lent him. She never received the remainder. 

In the other report, the victim was persuaded to hand over cash and his car, which the man agreed to buy, paying fixed sums every month.

However, after a period the payments for the vehicle stopped and the car was sold on and the victim was left significantly out of pocket.

Detective Constable Horner said that police believe there may be other victims.

"Both of these victims placed their trust in this man, lending him their money in good faith and in the belief they would get back what they were owed. However, that didn't happen and both victims lost considerable sums of money," he said.

"Unfortunately, we believe there may be others out there who have fallen victim to this man and his scams, and I want to make a direct appeal to them to come forward to us.

"In particular, I want to appeal to anyone who believes they may have come into contact with this man when he ran a business in the Holywood area between 2015 and 2018. Do you believe you were befriended by this man and asked to invest money in his business, or loan him money which he promised to pay back with a substantial return? "

He appealed for anyone with information to come forward.

"If you think you were, or if you have information you believe would assist our investigation I would appeal to you to get in touch with us. Anyone who can help should could detectives on the non emergency number 101, quoting reference number 1180 of 14/03/18," Detective Constable Horner said.

"Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime."

"Scammers are creative and will do whatever they can to con people out of money. Police would advise people to always err on the side of caution when it comes to people asking for the loan of money or asking for your personal details.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is and, in the case of these two examples in Holywood, that's exactly what happened."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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