Fraudsters swindle £20,000 from church

The PSNI have sounded a warning following the scam
The PSNI have sounded a warning following the scam

The PSNI have issued a scam warning after a church was swindled out of £20,000 by an internet fraudster.

While the police service did not say which church lost out, they did explain that the ruse involved an email being sent to a church official purporting to be from a pastor.

The email, sent to the treasurer, asked for two invoices to be paid urgently.

Over £20,000 was paid out to the heartless scammers.

In a warning posted on social media by the PSNI, a police spokesperson said: “A scam targeting a church official has just been brought to our attention.

“A treasurer received an email from a person, pretending to be the pastor, instructing them to pay two urgent invoices. Over £20,000 was paid before it became clear this was a scam.”

The spokesperson added: “An investigation is underway but we need your help in raising awareness. If you know someone who manages the finances of a religious organisation or any organisation, club or society, please share.”

Detective Constable Stephen Crooks, of the PSNI’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “These emails appear to be very convincing, however do not be fooled into giving out personal or banking details via email. Be sceptical, if something is suspicious about the correspondence, it usually is a scam.”

He added: “We all need to be vigilant of any contact from an unsolicited source, whether that is from doorstep callers, telephone, mail or online.”