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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

PSNI issue warning after scammers impersonate police officers

Detectives are investigating a spate of reports that scammers are impersonating police officers. 

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Wilson, from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Economic Crime Unit, is urging people to be extra vigilant after nine reports of this type of scam occurring in Belfast were made between Tuesday, 6th December and Wednesday 7th December. 

Those targeted were contacted by the fraudsters on the phone, pretending to be from 'The Police' or 'PSNI' and, in some cases, they've mentioned they're officers from specific stations.

In most of the incidents reported, scammers say they're calling in relation to fraudulent activity and ask if there's money in the house.

Some were told not to tell anyone about the call while others have been told to leave money in a bag outside their home for the scammer to collect. No money has been lost in any of the incidents reported this week, the majority of which targeted people aged from their mid to late seventies to nineties. 

Detective Chief Inspector Wilson said it's really important people are aware of this type of scam, which also came to light in Northern Ireland last year and saw four men charged with fraud by false representation. 

"This is a really despicable and devious scam where criminals posing as police officers appear to be targeting older people," said Detective Chief Inspector Wilson.

"The perpetrators have one aim, and that's by preying on members of our older community to swindle them out of their money. The impact of this type of crime can be devastating, leaving a real sense of fear and causing serious distress.

"Police officers will never ask you to withdraw or transfer money for any reason. If you receive a call like this out of the blue, it's a scam and you must terminate the call immediately. We know fraudsters can be extremely convincing and use a variety of scenarios to make their victims believe they are genuine, which is why being aware of this type of crime is crucial. It's also important if you have older relatives, to have a conversation about this type of crime and reassure them help is available.  

“If you have been targeted in this way, or know of someone who has received such a call, we want to hear from you. It's never too late to report this type of incident to police, to your bank or building society or Action Fraud."

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

For further advice and information visit or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni


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