Vigiliance call as scams net £33,000 in Mid Ulster

A man has had almost £20,000 stolen from his bank account by scammers, local police have revealed.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 9:05 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 9:06 am

In a separate case another man had £14,000 stolen after fraudsters called him using his bank’s telephone number.

Police are now urging people in the district to be “extra vigilant” in their financial dealings.

Giving examples of the fraud calls police said a man reported having £19,000 taken from his bank account after a female with an English accent called him to say that £1,200 had been fraudulently removed from his account after an Amazon transaction, and that he was unable to review the account as it was now ‘frozen’.

Don't let the criminals get their hands on your cash.

He then received a call which appeared to be from the telephone number of his bank. The scammers were also aware of the victim’s customer ID and email address.

They sent him texts via his bank ID to his personal number to approve reference codes and authorize the payments.

Other recent reports include a man having £14,000 removed from his account after scammers cloned his bank’s telephone number as well as the old number for Dungannon police station being used by scammers.

Chief Inspector Michael McDonald said the number of scams in Mid Ulster was concerning: “There has been a significant increase in the number of scams reported to us recently in the Mid-Ulster area and as these scams are very sophisticated and technical they have unfortunately resulted in members of the public losing large sums of money.

“If you get a similar call please put the phone down and report the call via our 101 telephone number.

“Do not provide any personal details to the caller.

“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. Also never download software on the basis of a phone call.

“Guarding your personal and banking details is essential. Never disclose them to any unauthorised person or allow anyone access to them via your computer.

“If you have received a call of this kind or are concerned by the intent of unsolicited calls, emails, letters or text messages 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 telephone number 101.

“The credentials of a caller can also be checked out by calling 101 and asking for Quick Check. For further advice and information visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni. ScamwiseNI have recently issued some helpful videos which show how these type of scams can take place and the terrible impact for the victims.”

Mid Ulster Crime Prevention Officers have put together a pack of educational literature focusing on telephone scams and cold calling.

It includes warning aids such as stickers, cards and magnets to be placed prominently in the home as a reminder not to engage with the scammers.

Police are requesting friends or relatives of older people to find out more about the packs and pick one up from Cookstown or Magherafelt enquiry offices or by contacting your local crime prevention officer. Call ahead to arrange a pick up time.

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