Belfast Telegraph

Police urge caution as £20,000 cold call scammers are foiled

By Adrian Rutherford

A senior police officer has urged people to be wary after an attempted £20,000 fraud.

The incident, where a woman was targeted by a man claiming to be from British Telecom, happened earlier this week in Lurgan.

The victim was talked into downloading software which allowed the scammers to try to transfer £20,000 of her money.

However, her bank managed to stop the transfer before the money vanished.

Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said it was a reminder for people to by vigilant.

He said: "We received a report on Monday that a woman had been targeted by a man claiming to be from BT. The woman received numerous calls, during one of which she was persuaded to download software which gave the scammers access to her email and online banking accounts. Having gained access to her account, the scammers had transferred £20,000 of her money.

"Thankfully, this scam was stopped just in time by the bank and no money was lost. Credit to the member of the bank staff for spotting what was going on. Fraudsters will go to any length to scam people out of money and you might think it might never happen to you, but it can."

Chief Supt Walls said people should use common sense when dealing with cold calls.

He added: "Our advice is simple. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

"No matter how good the offer is, or how convincing these cold-callers sound, be wary of anyone who cold-calls you. Never allow any cold-caller remote access to your computer, no matter how genuine or convincing they sound."

Chief Supt Walls said people should be suspicious of anyone who asks for personal details, money, banking or credit card information via the telephone.

He explained that once a scammer has accessed a computer and personal details are given, online bank accounts can be accessed and significant amounts of money lost.

He added: "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.

"If you have any suspicions at all about a call you receive, hang up and phone the organisation the person is claiming to represent to check their authenticity."

Belfast Telegraph

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