Public urged to be vigilant against scammers


Police are urging the public to be on their guard against fraudsters after a number of scams reported earlier this week.  

We received a number of reports of fraud and attempted fraud on Monday showing different methods scammers use to get your money.

In one report an individual in the Ballymena area, who runs a local business, was contacted by their bank to state that a payment for over £5,000 worth of goods had been fraudulent.

Another report was made to police on Monday that a woman from the Dungiven area had received a letter back in June from a company offering to purchase her pension. She was instructed to send off her birth certificate, passport and bank account details to an address in England. She contacted the genuine company with the same name after looking up the contact number online, they confirmed that this reference and offer did not exist. A number of attempts had been made earlier this week to withdraw money from an account belonging to the victim.

While a woman in Ballymena reported to police that a number of purchases had been made online after their Amazon account was reported to have been hacked.

Sergeant Jonathan Fawcett said: “No matter what type of scam it is and the different methods employed, a common element shared by scammers is they will go to great lengths to trick people and take advantage of their vulnerability and good faith.

“Our message is simple – never disclose your personal or banking details to anyone over the phone or online, no matter how convincing they may seem, and never allow an unauthorised person to have access to such details via your computer.

“We would always urge people to contact the company the person are proclaiming to be from directly, via an independently sourced phone number before speaking to them any further.  

“In a number of cases reported to us, the caller claimed to represent a genuine company which does exist. A simple Google search confirming the existence of the company is not enough.

“If you have received a call of this kind, or if you’re concerned by any unsolicited emails, calls or letters; then please report it to Action Fraud via their website 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 of the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni