Detectives from PSNI’s Economic Crime Unit are warning the public to be extremely vigilant following multiple reports of criminals posing as police officers.
Police have recently received numerous reports from residents across Northern Ireland stating that they have been contacted by people claiming to be officers asking them to withdraw money from their accounts and hand over bank cards, jewellery and other valuables.
Detective Inspector Joanne Harris from the Economic Crime Unit said: “Over recent days, we have seen an increase in the number of scams reported to us where fraudsters pose as police officers. Unfortunately, this has resulted in people losing large sums of money and valuables with some people being told they need to leave money in an envelope outside their house to be collected.
“Victims have been asked about how much money they keep in their house, and are told not to let family members know that they had been contacted. One older person was accused of owing money, whilst another person was enticed to leave their house with a sum of money to meet a fraudster. Luckily this person’s suspicions were raised and she did not lose any money.
“I am urgently advising the public to be vigilant at all times and to be aware that police officers will never call you and ask for cash, bank details or questions about valuable possessions. Criminals are continuously coming up with advanced and sophisticated ways of targeting people, especially those who are more vulnerable or older.
“If you have older relatives or family members, please take time to share this information with them so they can be fully aware of this type of scam.
“Our message is simple, never ever disclose any personal or banking details to anyone over the phone or online, no matter where they say they are calling from or how convincing they may seem.”
Protecting your personal information and banking details is extremely important. If you have received a call of this kind or if you are concerned by the intent of unsolicited calls, emails or letters the please call police on the non-emergency number 101, make a report to Action Fraud via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2040.
For further advice and information visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni . ScamwiseNI have recently issued some helpful videos which show how these type of scams can take place and the terrible impacts for the victims.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland is appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or anyone with any information that will assist the investigation to contact us on the non-emergency number 101. Information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.