24/01/2020

Police Arrest Three Amid Reports Of Fraud

Detectives from the PSNI's Economic Crime Unit have arrested three people amid a spate of attempted fraud in Northern Ireland.

Two women, aged 37 and 26, and a 37 year-old man are under suspicion of a number of offences related to fraud, blackmail and criminal property.

The arrests follow searches in the Belfast and Newtownabbey areas on Thursday 23 January during which a large amount of documentation and bank cards were seized along with a small quantity of ammunition.

The male suspect and one of the women were also arrested on suspicion of possession of ammunition in suspicious circumstances.

Police said the operation was established after several reports of a male contacting members of the public by telephone under the guise of being a police officer.
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The male would inform potential victims that their bank accounts had been targeted by fraudsters and that an officer would call with them. They were then asked to withdraw money to enable the officer to check if it was real or fake when he called. No money was lost in the scam attempt and no victims reported having been approached by a fraudster.

An elderly man did, however, lose over £2,000 in a similar ploy. Aged in his 70s, the victim was contacted by a male claiming to represent BT and persuaded to transfer funds to a fraudulent account.

Detectives Chief Inspector Ian Wilson is advising members of the public to protect their money by remembering the following: "Financial institutions, utility companies, law enforcement, HMRC, internet and telecoms providers will never ask you to transfer money because your account is compromised or call out of the blue and ask for remote access to your computer or to download software."

Enquiries are still ongoing and anyone who has been contacted in similar circumstances recently is urged to report the matter via non-emergency line 101.

Further details and advice are available via ScamwiseNI.



(JG/CM)

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