Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland police receive almost 60 reports of fraud in one day

Police are warning the public against scams after close to 60 reports of attempted fraud across Northern Ireland in just one day.

In one case a victim was scammed out of money. While its been reported protocols in one Portadown building society prevented an elderly woman getting conned out of £15,000.

In some of the case people received automated bogus calls from people claiming to represent the HRMC threatening them with arrest if they didn't pay tax they owed.

On Monday 58 people from counties Antrim, Down and Armagh reported being contacted in bids to trick them out of cash. The majority of the reports were from people claiming to represent HMRC. The others included cold callers, from people claiming to be from a bank.

Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said: “

Unfortunately, in one of the reports, a victim was scammed out of a sum of money. 

“We are reassured that people are able to spot these scams, and people are picking up the phone to report them to us.

“However, we would continue to urge members of the public to always err on the side of caution with any text, call, email or letter asking for payment or personal details in order to release money, refund fees, pay lottery wins or supply a holiday, giveaway or service.

"Our advice is always be wary of any individual who cold calls you. Don’t allow any cold caller remote access to your computer. Be especially suspicious of anyone who asks for personal details, money, banking or credit card information via the telephone.

"Once a scammer is in a victim’s computer and personal details are given by the victim, their online bank accounts can be accessed and significant amounts of money lost; money they may well never get back. 

“The scammers may also advise their intended victim they’re due a financial refund and ask for details of their bank account in relation to this, which they will then target."

The police officer advised the public if they receive a suspicious call to hang up and check with the organisation, ideally using a different phone. In the past it has been known for scammers to be able to stay on the phone line after they have been cut off allowing them to answer the next immediate call making the targeted individual think they have contacted the genuine organisation. 

"Never be pressured into a transaction over the phone," Chief Superintendent Walls added.

“Guarding your personal and banking details is essential. Never disclose them to any unauthorised person or allow anyone access to them via your computer.

“If you have received a call of this kind or are concerned by the intent of 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, or call police on the non-emergency number 101.

“Further advice and information can also be obtained by visiting www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni

“And remember if you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph