Residents urged to be vigilant after scammers target borough

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Police are advising members of the public to be wary after the theft of thousands of pounds during scams in the region in recent days.

Officers in both Antrim and Newtownabbey have attended calls for service recently whereby people have been scammed out of hundreds/thousands of pounds by people portraying to be from their bank’s fraud department.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “One of the common ways this is being done is as follows: “1. The scammer phones the victim and states they are from the victim’s bank.

“2. The scammer states there has been some fraudulent activity on the account.

“3. The scammer asks a number of security questions which the victim answers.

“Unknowingly, the victim has just given the scammer the answers to the secret security questions that they set up with their bank account.”

The spokesperson added: “The scammer is then able to make purchases using the victims account details. On some occasions we have seen the scammer give a telephone number for the victim to phone and portraying this to be the bank’s fraud department. The number is quite often 02895 ******, and looks very legitimate.

“We have seen incidents recently where one elderly gentleman was scammed out of £2,000 by this method, and only today (August 11) a female was scammed out of £500.

“If you are in any doubt that the call is legitimate, hang up and then phone your bank on a known number for them.”