Belfast Telegraph

Police urge caution after telephone scam sees Lisburn man lose £17,500

Detectives have issued a warning after £17,500 was stolen from a Lisburn man in a "sophisticated" telephone scam.

Police are investigating the incident which saw the man receive a phone call from a woman claiming to be from British Telecom on February 26.

The caller told the man he had been experiencing internet problems and that his IP address was being used elsewhere and he needed to get rid of it.

The woman then transferred him to a man who she described as a "technician".

The man told the injured party to search for his IP address online, which he did. The search informed the injured party the IP location was Mountain View, California USA.

The ‘technician’ then directed the injured party to download two programs, which gave the suspect remote access to the injured party’s computer, including emails and online banking.

The ‘technician’ asked the victim to go to a modem, which he was aware was in another room, and told him another modem from BT would be delivered that evening.

This appeared to allow the technician time to make internal transactions on the injured party’s bank accounts.

The ‘Technician’ asked the injured party to input codes that had been provided by bank to allow the security program to run and then said the security program would take a while and suggested the injured party make a cup of tea.

The ‘technician’ then told injured party to keep his phone line on, and the BT engineer delivering the modem later that day would disable this.

That was the end of the conversation.

Later that evening, after the injured party heard a buzzing tone from his telephone. He was suspicious and checked his bank account to discover around £17,500 had been withdrawn.

Detective Constable Ruth Gallagher said: "This was a sophisticated fraud. The injured party was conned into downloading programs onto his own computer to allow the suspect to access his computer.

"This is an example which illustrates how easily scammers can extract large sums of money from unsuspecting members of the public."

"It is therefore extremely important to take time to consider who it is we are speaking to when we receive an unsolicited call and always be wary of any individual that cold calls you.

"Be especially suspicious of anyone who asks for money, banking or credit card information or who asks to gain access remotely to your computer. It is highly unusual for any legitimate company or organisation to demand money over the phone or ask to gain access to your computer."

For general advice on how to stay safe online, visit

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