Scams are reported daily to the PSNI, often with members of the public losing significant amounts of money.
Hard hit in recent weeks was a County Tyrone business that was scammed in a mandate fraud; where emails have been compromised or spoofed. It was reported to police on Thursday, 29th August that a number of emails had been received, which resulted in three separate payments being made to a scammer – a total of just under £50,000 . Enquiries are ongoing to establish what occurred and to see if the money can be recouped.
On Wednesday 11th September, a woman aged in her seventies and from Lisburn was conned out of approximately £2,000. She lost the money after she was contacted by someone claiming to be from a telecoms provider. The victim was told her router had been hacked and access was needed to her laptop where she was persuaded to download two programmes. This enabled the scammers to take her money which, as of this time, hasn’t been recovered.
“We also received a report on Thursday, 12th September of an attempt by scammers to have a woman transfer £10,000 to an account. A woman had been conversing with a man online, and he had asked her to transfer £10,000 to an account. Fortunately, when she went to her bank in the Lisburn area to make the transfer, staff realised something was up and the scam was thwarted ad no money was lost.”
Chief Superintendent Walls said everyone needs to be vigilant, and said it’s also important for families to have conversations with their loved ones about scams and the need to be scam aware.
“There is plenty of advice available to ensure you are scam aware. For businesses, we advise checking thoroughly before making any payment. Double check that the accounts to which the payments are being made are the correct accounts and never disclose account details to any unauthorised person or allow anyone access to them via your computer.
“If you are concerned by 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.”
For further advice and information visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni