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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Police urge vigilance after businesses and individuals “swindled out of thousands of pounds”

Incoming phone call on mobile screen with PSNI logo

Police are urging the public to be vigilant after reports of a scam in which fraudsters are targeting bank customers across Northern Ireland, resulting in some businesses and individuals being swindled out of thousands of pounds. 


In recent weeks, police have received reports from individuals and businesses who were contacted by phone and/or email by a person claiming to be from their bank.  



Through emails and phone conversations, some lasting over an hour with individuals to others which involved separate calls over several days, the fraudster/s managed to get financial details to access bank accounts of those they targeted.


Sums ranging between £5,000 up to close to £250,000 were taken by criminals from accounts. 


Police enquiries are ongoing, as are efforts to retrieve the money taken.


Officers appeal to anyone who believes they have been targeted in this way recently, but have not reported it, to do so now to police, to their bank and to Action Fraud. 



Advice


Detective Chief Inspector Ian Wilson said:


"Criminals use every trick in the book to steal your money, and will constantly change how they present their scam to lure people in. They'll tell you that your money is at risk and you need to act urgently, moving your money to a safe account, or that if you switch to another account it will make things easier for you.


"No matter what the claim is, they’re trying to get your personal and financial details. They can sound so convincing it's understandable how people can be persuaded they are genuine. However, they're anything but genuine. This is why it's so important to spot the signs that calls or emails of this nature are not real. 



"Our advice is that you should never disclose your personal or financial details over the phone, or by email, to someone you don't know. Guarding your personal and banking details is essential. Legitimate providers will never ask for these details in this way. Never disclose them to any unauthorised person.”


If you have been contacted in this way by someone claiming to be from your bank, report it immediately to police online at www.psni.police.uk/makeareportor on the non-emergency number 101, to your bank immediately, online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.



Information and advice is also available at http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni

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