PSNI warning as more than £80,000 lost in spate of scams

Scammers posed as online retailer requesting payment and as a firm offering a refund

Chief Supt Simon Walls said the reports show there is no let-up from scammers who “will do whatever they can to con people out of their hard-earned money”.

Chief Supt Simon Walls said the reports show there is no let-up from scammers who “will do whatever they can to con people out of their hard-earned money”.

 

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI)is asking the public to be vigilant after more than £80,000 was lost in a spate of scams reported on Wednesday.

Scammers employed a variety of means to swindle their victims, the PSNI said. Methods included cold-calling homes claiming to be from an online retailer and requesting a payment.

Other people who were scammed reported being threatened with arrest due to an outstanding fine or warrant, while one victim reported being swindled out of £40,000 in an online romance scam.

Another victim was duped by someone claiming to be from a telecommunications company who told them they would receive a refund of £400. While they did receive the £400, unfortunately £15,000 was also taken from their account.

Another victim, who had bought items for their business online, reported losing £11,000, and another victim lost £16,000 in an online financial scam.

Chief Supt Simon Walls said the reports show there is no let-up from scammers who “will do whatever they can to con people out of their hard-earned money”.

“Scammers don’t care who their victim is, they just want their money and will employ whatever tactic is necessary,” he said.

“While some of the losses reported to us this week involved significant sums of money to much smaller sums, we understand that any amount of money lost to a scammer is a horrible experience for anyone.”

Chief Supt Walls appealed to the public to avoid disclosing any personal or financial details over the phone, and to “always err on the side of caution”.

“Scammers are creative and will do whatever they can to con people out of money,” he said. “It’s also important that if you have older members of family, talk with them and tell them legitimate providers will never seek their personal details, such as banking information, over the phone. This is a really important conversation to have.”

He added: “Guarding your personal and banking details is essential. Never disclose them to any unauthorised person.”

Anyone in Northern Ireland concerned they have been a victim of a scam should report the matter to Action Fraud via its website www.actionfraud.police.uk .

The PSNI can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101 or a report can be submitted online using a non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/