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Troubles pension fraudsters operating on social media 'despicable'

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Warning: Chief Supt Simon Walls

Warning: Chief Supt Simon Walls

PA

Warning: Chief Supt Simon Walls

A senior police officer has described scammers who have been trying to con victims of the Troubles out of pension money as despicable.

Chief Superintendent Simon Walls was speaking after it emerged that fraudsters has used a social media site to target victims, asking for their bank details.

A post, which appeared on Facebook, invited people who thought they might qualify for the victims' pension, to register with their bank account details, despite the scheme not yet having been set up.

The Wave Trauma Centre has already warned people to be alert to the scam.

The victims group said no-one will ever ring asking for bank details, and urged anyone who is targeted by the post to alert the authorities.

The attempt by the internet fraudsters to target victims and survivors came just two days after the Department of Justice was named by Stormont to oversee the implementation of the long awaited pension scheme.

That move followed a High Court ruling on Monday which paved the way for the pensions scheme to go live in the next few months. Mr Walls said the approaches through social media showed there is no let up in what scammers will do to try to con people out of their hard earned money.

"These despicable fraudsters operate all year round," he said. "That's why I can't stress enough just how important it is to be vigilant at all times, stay on your guard every day and do not let yourself be scammed.

"I would also urge people to have a conversation with loved ones about scams, especially if you know someone who may be vulnerable."

Chief Superintendent Walls also urged people to guard their personal and banking details at all times and never disclose them to any unauthorised person.

Belfast Telegraph