Scam warning issued after fraudsters steal almost £30k from three older people

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Police are urging members of the public to be vigilant after almost £30,000 was stolen from three older people across Northern Ireland.

“On Wednesday morning (September 5) in North Down, police received a report of a man who had taken a call stating that he was entitled to a refund and to provide bank details to receive the money. The fraudster then accessed the computer remotely and was able to remove over £10,000 from the victim’s business account. The money was sent to an address in Scotland and has been subsequently withdrawn,” explained Chief Superintendent Simon Walls.

“Later that day, an man in County Tyrone was targeted by online scammers who managed to access £9,000 from his bank account. The victim was told there was a problem with his internet connection and subsequently asked to access his online banking account at which stage the sum of money was removed.

“We are also investigating a report of an man in the North West who had £7,000 removed from his bank account on Wednesday afternoon. The man was informed by the fraudsters that his internet had been hacked and needed to be fixed. Remote access was gained to the victim’s computer and the money was taken from his account.

“Over the course of a few hours, almost £30,000 was stolen from three vulnerable individuals. Those who carry out this criminality target communities, causing a devastating and lasting impact to their victims.”

Chief Superintendent Walls continued: “Our advice is always be wary of any individual who cold calls you. Don’t allow any cold caller remote access to your computer. Be especially suspicious of anyone who asks for personal details, money, banking or credit card information via the telephone. Once a scammer is in a victim’s computer and personal details are given by the victim, their online bank accounts can be accessed and significant amounts of money lost; money they may well never get back.

“Guarding your personal and banking details is essential. Never disclose them to any unauthorised person or allow anyone access to them via your computer.

“If you have received a call of this kind or are concerned by the intent of unsolicited calls, emails or letters then please report it to Action Fraud via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2040, or call police on the non-emergency number 101.”

For further advice and information log on to www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page – @scamwiseni