29/10/2019

Co Antrim Man Scammed Out Of £60k

The public is urged to be wary after a Co Antrim man was scammed out of £60,000 last week.

The telephone scam is one of two recent incidents that prompted the call for vigilance. Police also released details of email fraud in Co Armagh costing another man over £12,000.

The first victim, aged in his fifties, was subjected to the unscrupulous efforts of three males on Wednesday 23 October. A number of calls from an individual claiming to be from a telecommunications company were made to the victim's landline, informing him of a so-called hack to his internet line.

The unsuspecting victim was advised to download software to his computer and await contact from a cybercrime investigator. He did as requested and, shortly afterwards, received the call from the second conman. This individual stated that there had been fraudulent activity within the man's bank and that his funds were insecure. A third collaborator, posing as the head of the bank, then convinced the victim to set up a new bank account, to which £60,000 was subsequently transferred.

PSNI's Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said: "This was a carefully calculated and despicable act, which involved the collaboration of several individuals.

"To many, £60,000 is a lifetime of savings. This is a huge financial blow, as well as a loss of one's trust and confidence."

Unfortunately, it doesn't stop there. Police also told of an incident on Friday 04 October when a County Armagh man received an email, supposedly from his accountant, requesting him to transfer an amount of £12,782 to a specified account number, belonging to HMRC.

CS Walls explained: "The email contained specific details, which led the victim to believe it was authentic. He subsequently made the requested transfer before finding out, from his real accountant, that the email was in fact fraudulent.

"Scams come in all shapes and sizes, from mandate fraud to the plain and simple telephone scams. All have one thing in common. Those responsible are ruthless and will go to any length to trick victims out of their hard-earned money. They have no regard whatsoever for the impact of their actions, which can be devastating.

"Our message is simple – never disclose your personal or banking details to anyone over the phone or online, no matter how convincing they may seem, and never allow an unauthorised person to have access to such details via your computer."

Anyone with concerns about unsolicited emails, calls or letters is urged to report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040. Police can also be contacted regarding scams using non-emergency line 101.



(JG/CM)

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