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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

PSNI figures reveal more than £1m lost in NI in scams in last two months

Chair of the ScamwiseNI Partnership, Chief Superintendent Gerard Pollock.

Chair of the ScamwiseNI Partnership, Chief Superintendent Gerard Pollock

In the last two months the Police Service of Northern Ireland has received reports of investment attempted scams and scams which have resulted in a loss in excess of £1.2 million to fraudsters. 

In March, we saw losses of close to £612,000. During the month of April, losses were close to around £690,000.

Chair of ScamwiseNI Partnership, Chief Superintendent Gerard Pollock said the staggering statistics illustrate how ruthless scammers are. 

Chief Superintendent Pollock said:

“Behind each loss, no matter the amount, is someone or a business owner who has been taken advantage of in the most despicable and callous way. For some, the impact is devastating.”

In terms of the types of scams, Chief Superintendent Pollock said the scams we have seen have three common features, and these are the signs you should watch out for:

- Investment opportunities that seem too good to miss

- Most have involved cryptocurrency in some form

- Most have started with a small investment initially, before snowballing into thousands

- Like most scams now, they have been committed at distance, with criminals exploiting communication networks through phones, social media, emails or text messages

Chief Superintendent Pollock added:

“Due to the advances in technology, criminals can now access people's banking and personal data. Anyone can be targeted by a scam, and criminals will constantly change how they present their scam to lure people in. We know, however, what all scammers aim to do is access personal and financial details.

“The end goal is to get your personal details, such as your name, address, date of birth and who you bank with for your loss and their gain. This can then be used to commit a more sophisticated scam where the losses can be substantial."

The best way to stop this scam is to apply these five important rules:

1) Never click on links in text messages from someone you do not know

2) Never call or text suspicious numbers back

3) Never ever transfer money to someone you do not know or have not met

4) Always delete texts requesting personal or financial information or bank account details

5) Always forward scam texts to 7726 – the free scam text reporting service

If you have been a victim of a scam, report it to police online at or call on 101, to your bank immediately, online at or call 0300 123 2040.

Information and advice on investment fraud is also available on our website or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni


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