THE Government organisation, Scamwise NI, has advised people to take extra care when approached by strangers after a Strabane couple were conned out of almost 500 euros while returning from holiday.
ScamwiseNI, which aims to raise awareness of scams and how to prevent them, is a partnership involving the PSNI and other agencies.
The pair from Strabane, who have not been identified, were travelling home from Europe when they came across two men stranded on the motorway.
The distressed pair explained they were also from Northern Ireland and needed money to be able to get the boat home, they were given 500 euro by the Strabane couple. They also exchanged contact details and agreed the money would be repaid when they returned home.
“To date no money has been received and the males had provided the couple with a bogus address,” said a spokesperson for Scamwise NI. “Although this couple were full of good intentions, we would advise taking extra care when approached by strangers.”
The PSNI is also calling on people to remain alert to what they say are the increasingly elaborate scams.
“Fraudsters will go to any length to scam people out of money and you might think it will never happen to you, but it can,” said Chief Superintendent, Simon Walls.
“Each scam differs in design, but the ultimate aim remains the same – to steal your money – and I cannot stress enough just how important it is to be scam aware and to know how easy it is to fall victim to a scam if you don’t spot the signs.”
The PSNI urges anyone who believes that they are the victim of a scam or are concerned by the intent of unsolicited calls, emails or letters to report it to www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040 or police on 101.