WARNING: Fraudster targeting older people in Lisburn area

editorial image

The PSNI’s Economic Crime Unit says it is aware that older bank customers in the Lisburn area are being targeted by a fraudster who has gained access to their online banking.

Lisburn and Castlereagh Police have issued a ‘fraud alert’ about the online banking vishing (voice phishing) scam, following more than 10 reported incidents in recent days.

A post on the PSNI Lisburn Facebook page said: “PSNI Economic Crime Unit are aware that older bank customers are currently being targeted in the Lisburn area by a fraudster who has gained access to their online banking and has carried out transactions on the account(s), making purchases for flights, travel etc across the world and recently buying items via PayPal.

“The criminal will then contact the victim by phone, pointing out to them that the fraudulent transaction has occurred and convincing them that the ‘secure passphrase’ that has been sent to them (by the bank) is part of the fraud and persuading them to disclose it to them, usually by getting them to phone the bank back straight away. The scammer is using the old trick of keeping the phone line open. When the customer makes the call the scammer is on the other end and gratefully receives the passphrase that allows them to complete the fraudulent payment.

“We are aware that this crime has affected over ten people in the Lisburn area over recent days. It is believed to be the same person involved. He is well practiced in this type of fraud and it’s believed he has targeted other areas of Northern Ireland in the past. At present they are concentrating the activity in the Lisburn area.”

The post adds: “If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Police by calling 101, or Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

“The fraudster uses ‘Social Engineering’ on their intended victim. In this case it is over the phone and known as ‘Vishing’. Watch the video on ‘Vishing Scam’ at www.getsafeonline.org/video/”

Police are warning people never to give out their personal or financial details and to always question uninvited approaches.

For more information/alerts about scams and how to stop them log on to www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni