Belfast Telegraph

Warning over scam after victim conned out of £50k

By Staff Reporter

The PSNI has warned people to be careful of conmen after scammers cheated someone out of almost £50,000 at the weekend.

The crime is understood to have involved fraudsters phoning people and pretending to be from a broadband provider.

PSNI Superintendent Simon Walls said: “The scammers contacted their victims by telephone, warning that their online bank accounts had been hacked or there was a problem with their wireless router or broadband.

“Typically, the victim then gives the scammer remote access to their computer to fix the issue.

“Once the scammer is in the computer and personal details are given by the victim, online bank accounts can be accessed and significant amounts of money lost.”

Recent figures from the Consumer Council showed that 17% of the local population had been caught out by scams.

Mr Walls urged people to always be wary of cold callers. “Don’t allow any cold caller remote access to your computer,” he said. “Be especially suspicious of anyone who asks for personal details, money, banking or credit card information via the telephone.

“If you are at all suspicious about a call that you receive, hang up and phone the organisation that the person is purporting to represent to check their authenticity.

“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.  Guarding your personal and banking details is essential. Never disclose them to any unauthorised person or allow anyone access to access them via your computer.

“If you have received a call of this kind or are concerned by the intent of 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, or call police on the non-emergency number, 101.

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

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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