Police are urging people to be vigilant after reports of scams locally.
Police are urging people to be vigilant after reports of scams locally.

Police in Derry City & Strabane are urging people to be wary of scammers after reports locally resulting in losses of around £25,000.

In one of two reports made to police yesterday, Wednesday 26th July, it was reported a man tricked the person he called on 19th July into believing he was police and to transfer money to help with an investigation. In the other report made, a man claimed to be from a bank and convinced the person he called to transfer money. A line of enquiry, at this time, is both reports are linked.   

Inspector Craig said: “Consequently, a significant amount of money has been lost, which is really distressing for those impacted. They believed the person calling them was genuine. They trusted the man they spoke with, but he exploited their trust in the most cruel and despicable manner. It is appalling, and those impacted will need time and support to recover.”

Inspector Craig appeals to anyone who may have had a similar experience, and believes it to have been a scam, but has not reported it to do so now.

"This means we can build a picture of offending and identify a pattern, or patterns, which could prove crucial in apprehending those responsible,” said Inspector Craig, who added: “It's never too late to make a report to police, to your bank or building society, or Action Fraud. There is lots of advice available to help and protect you and your money against scammers.” 

Inspector Craig stresses police officers, civil servants or bank officials will never call out of the blue and ask for money to be withdrawn or transferred.

“If you receive a call like this out of the blue, it's a scam and you must terminate the call immediately,” says Inspector Craig. “Fraudsters can be extremely convincing and use a variety of scenarios to convince people they’re genuine, which is why being aware of this type of crime is crucial. It's also important if you have older relatives, talk to them about scams to raise awareness, and reassure them help is available. Having a conversation about how to stop these criminals could make all the difference.”

Five rules to stop a scam

If you receive a call out of the blue or believe it to be suspicious, hang up the call immediately and never call the number back; always delete texts requesting personal information or bank account details; never click on links in text messages, or respond to unsolicited texts; never ever transfer money at the request of someone you do not know.

Action Fraud can be contacted via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2040, or 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 We also have lots of information on our website at https://www.psni.police.uk/safety-and-support/keeping-safe/protecting-yourself/scams-and-fraud