Belfast Telegraph

Police urge caution after two scammed out of more than £70,000

A man in Co Antrim lost £60,000 while a man in Co Armagh was tricked out of £10,000 in separate scams in recent weeks.

PSNI Chief Superintendent Simon Walls has urged public to be cautious after two scammed out of £70,000 in recent weeks. (PSNI/PA)
PSNI Chief Superintendent Simon Walls has urged public to be cautious after two scammed out of £70,000 in recent weeks. (PSNI/PA)

By Rebecca Black, PA

A senior police officer has urged the public to be cautious after two men were scammed out of £70,000 in separate incidents in recent weeks.

A Co Antrim man, aged in his 50s, lost £60,000 following a telephone scam, and a Co Armagh man was tricked out of over £10,000.

The first scam came after a number of calls to the victim’s landline phone during which he was told they were calling from a telecommunications company and that his internet line had been hacked, advising him to download software to his computer.

To many, £60,000 is a lifetime of savings. This is a huge financial blow, as well as a loss of one’s trust and confidence Chief Superintendent Simon Walls

In follow-up phone calls the scammers then claimed there had been fraudulent activity within the man’s bank, convinced him to open to new bank account to which £60,000 was transferred.

PSNI Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said police believed several individuals were involved in what he described as a “carefully calculated and despicable act”.

“To many, £60,000 is a lifetime of savings. This is a huge financial blow, as well as a loss of one’s trust and confidence,” he said.

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. We’ve recently been informed of an incident that took place earlier this month, on Friday October 4, and this time in County Armagh.

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PSNI Chief Superintendent Simon Walls has urged caution following two reports of significant scams in Northern Ireland in recent weeks. (Liam McBurney/PA)

“The County Armagh man received an email, supposedly from his accountant, requesting him to transfer an amount of £12,782 to a specified account number, belonging to HMRC.

“The email contained specific details, which led the victim to believe it was authentic. 

“He subsequently made the requested transfer before finding out, from his real accountant, that the email was in fact fraudulent.”

Mr Walls urged the public to be cautious.

“Our message is simple, never disclose your personal or banking details to anyone over the phone or online, no matter how convincing they may seem, and never allow an unauthorised person to have access to such details via your computer,” he said.

“If you have any concerns about 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. 

“You can also call police on the non-emergency number 101.”

For further advice and information visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni

PA

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