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Northern Ireland business scammed of £36k and police officer caught in 'clever email fraud'



Police officers have been caught out in the scam.

Police officers have been caught out in the scam.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Police officers have been caught out in the scam.

A Northern Ireland business has been defrauded of £36,000 over what police described as a "clever email fraud".

Police in Foyle said as well as the latest report they had come across similar fraudulent activity in relation to mortgage deposits - which could potentially see people lose out on thousands and home sales fall through.

They outlined how fraudsters are able to trick companies out of money in a method they said had also caught one serving police officer.

Essentially they hack into accounts of, for example, estate agents and finance companies and watch over emails until one pops up about making payments.

"They will then create a near identical but false account," the police officer said.

That false email account may look near identical with the same logos and names used but small details will be changed in the address such as by swapping out a letter 'o' for a zero.

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"You carry on the conversation and it will give a bank account number. This inevitably goes to the fraudsters bank account which is immediately plundered and closed," the police officer added.

Police advised anyone to never send money through email but if its required to check and re-check details before processing and to be immediately suspicious if a request is made to send money to a new account.

The officer added that he knew of a colleague which had been defrauded in a similar way.


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