Belfast Telegraph

PSNI urge families to stay alert after two scams in two days net £13k

Chief superintendent Simon Walls made the appeal after two victims lost a total of close to £13,000 last weekend.
Chief superintendent Simon Walls made the appeal after two victims lost a total of close to £13,000 last weekend.

A senior PSNI officer is calling on families to stay alert and look after one another after two reports in two days of people being scammed out of thousands of pounds.

Chief superintendent Simon Walls made the appeal after two victims lost a total of close to £13,000 last weekend.

The two scams happened on Co Armagh and Tyrone on December 21 and 22, with one victim losing close to £10,000, while the other victim lost 2,500.

Chief superintendent Walls said in both cases the scammers claimed to be from BT and on victim was tricked into giving their bank details over the phone.

"The other victim was kept on the phone for around three hours and persuaded to download software, which resulted in the victim being swindled out their hard earned money," he said.

“I cannot stress enough just how important it is to be scam aware and to know how easy it is to fall victim to a scam if you don’t spot the signs.

“I want to appeal to family members to do all they can to let their loved ones know, especially those who are older and vulnerable, never to give out any kind of financial details over the phone or to download software during a call unless they are 110% sure it is safe to do so.

“Scammers are creative and will do whatever they can to con people out of money. They don’t care who their victim is, they just want the money and will employ whatever tactic is necessary."

The senior PSNI officer advised people to also err on the side of caution when being asked for your personal detail and urged families to warn older relatives that legitmate providers will never seek their personal details, such as banking information, over the phone.

“Tell them that if they’re at all suspicious about a call they receive, hang up and phone the organisation the person is purporting to represent to check their authenticity," he added.

"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."

Chief superintendent Walls said guarding your personal and banking details is essential and they should never be disclosed to any unauthorised person and no one should be allowed to access to them from your computer.

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

Police have urged anyone who has received calls of this kind or anyone who is concerned by the intent of unsolicited calls, emails or letters, to report it to Action Fraud via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk, by phoning 0300 123 2040, or through the police on the non-emergency number 101.

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