18/12/2018

Police Issue Public Appeal In Hunt For Holywood Fraudster

Police have appealed for potential fraud victims to come forward amid fears they were both scammed by the same man.

Detectives in Bangor received a report of fraud on 14 March 2018 involving members of the public in the Holywood area.

Both targets are believed to have been befriended by a man who managed to convince them both to lend him money.

In one case, the victim gave money to the man as an investment towards the development of a business idea. She was later convinced to lend him a further sum of money.

After a lengthy period, the woman was paid back only a fraction of the money she had paid him. She never received the remainder.

In another situation, a man was persuaded to hand over his car and a sum of cash, which the fraudster agreed to buy, with an agreement to pay fixed sums every month.

The repayments then stopped and the car was sold on, leaving the victim significantly out of pocket.

Detective Constable Horner said that police believe others may have been targeted by the fraudster.

"Both of these victims placed their trust in this man, lending him their money in good faith and in the belief they would get back what they were owed. However, that didn't happen and both victims lost considerable sums of money," he said.
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"Unfortunately, we believe there may be others out there who have fallen victim to this man and his scams, and I want to make a direct appeal to them to come forward to us.

"In particular, I want to appeal to anyone who believes they may have come into contact with this man when he ran a business in the Holywood area between 2015 and 2018. Do you believe you were befriended by this man and asked to invest money in his business, or loan him money which he promised to pay back with a substantial return?

"If you think you were, or if you have information you believe would assist our investigation, I would appeal to you to get in touch with us," DC Horner said.

Anyone who believes they can help is asked to contact detectives on the non-emergency line 101, quoting reference number 1180 of 14/03/18.

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.

The Detective Constable added: "Scammers are creative and will do whatever they can to con people out of money. Police would advise people to always err on the side of caution when it comes to people asking for the loan of money or asking for your personal details.

"If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is and, in the case of these two examples in Holywood, that's exactly what happened."



(JG/CM)

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