Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland scam victim loses £25k in phone fraud

By Adrian Rutherford

A Northern Ireland scam victim has lost £25,000 in an elaborate telephone fraud.

Police have urged vigilance after reports of fraud involving scammers phoning the public purporting to be from computer broadband and search engine providers.

It follows separate cases where victims lost £25,000 and £14,000.

Superintendent Simon Walls said: "The scammers have contacted their intended victims by telephone warning that their online bank accounts had been hacked or there is a problem with their wireless router or broadband speed.

"Typically the victim then gives the scammer remote access to their computer to fix the issue.

"Once the scammer is into the computer and personal details are given by the victim online, bank accounts can be accessed and significant amounts of money lost - money you may well never get back."

Supt Walls urged people to be wary of cold calls.

He added: "Don't allow any cold caller to get remote access to your computer. Be especially suspicious of anyone who asks for personal details, money, banking or credit card information via the telephone.

"If you are at all suspicious about a call that you receive, hang up and phone the organisation that the person is purporting to represent to check their authenticity.

"Ideally, make the call from another telephone so you can be sure the original caller has not remained on the line. Never be pressured into a transaction over the phone.

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

Contact Action Fraud for advice via www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2040, or call police on the non-emergency number 101.

Belfast Telegraph

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