POLICE are urging people across Northern Ireland to be extra vigilant following a spate of scams reported over a 24 hour period on Wednesday, December 2nd.
Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said: “Scammers are creative and will do whatever they can to con people out of money. They don’t care who their victim is and this is no different as Christmas approaches with over 20 reports of scams and unfortunately almost £20,000 lost to scammers.
“This included a man being conned out of £5,000 after being contacted by someone claiming to be from Amazon. Another man was scammed into purchasing £700 worth of vouchers via an email.
“One woman was scammed out of £6,000 and an older male also lost the same amount after they were both contacted by someone pretending to be from their bank regarding a “security” issue.
“There were other incidents reported which involved smaller sums of money but we understand that any amount of money lost or indeed any interaction with a scammer is a horrible experience for anyone.
“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.
“No matter what type of scam it is and the different methods employed, a common element shared by scammers is they will go to great lengths to trick people and take advantage of their vulnerability and good faith.
“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.
“We would always urge people to contact the company the person are proclaiming to be from directly, via an independently sourced phone number before speaking to them any further.
Anyone concerned they have been a victim of a scam either report the matter to Action Fraud via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2040. Police can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101 or you can submit a report online using our non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/
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 impacts for the victims.