PEOPLE in the Strabane area have been conned out of sums of money totalling several thousands of pounds.
On last week local PSNI officers reported “a number of phone scams” had taken place from persons pretending to be from BT and making PPI refunds. Unfortunately they were successful.
This has led police in Derry City and Strabane to warn members of the public about what is happening and to pass on that message to friends, family and neighbours.
“The figures range from several hundred pounds to several thousands of pounds,” a PSNI spokesperson said. “This can have a devastating effect on victims both financially and emotionally. For some it may mean they can’t afford to pay the bills this month or their families will have go without.”
The PSNI’s Sergeant Brown added, “Scammers are inventive and can be very convincing. Their singular aim is to gain access to your money and they will employ just about any tactic to do so, from claiming to represent businesses and government agencies or fundraising for charity.
“Always be wary of any individual that calls you out of the blue and be especially suspicious of anyone who asks for money, banking or credit card information. It is highly unusual for any legitimate company or organisation to demand money over the phone.
If you are at all suspicious about a call that you receive, hang up and phone the organisation that the person is purporting to represent to check their authenticity. Ideally make the call from another telephone so you can be sure the original caller has not remained on the line.”
According to Sgt Brown scammers habitually target people they perceive to be more vulnerable, such as older people.
He continued, “Take a few minutes today to speak to a grandparent, neighbour, or family friend about how they can avoid being the victim of a scam. Let them know it’s not rude to hang up if they feel something is wrong and that no one should pressurise them into handing over bank details or personal information.”
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 details of current scams and how to avoid becoming victim of a scam go to the Scamwise NI internet site at www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/scamwiseni
Posted: 11:29 am November 20, 2017