Derry costs crisis text and phone scam warning as fraudsters escalate activity

Criminals are using the costs crisis to scam people in Derry and across the North West out of their money at a time when they need it most, it has been warned.

Community Restorative Justice in Derry yesterday urged people to be extra vigilant against the ‘growing attempts’ by scammers to fraud people using various methods of communication.

CRJ manager Martin Connolly said: “Scams are nothing new, but in recent times we have seen a significant increase in the number of different types of scams being deployed by fraudsters across the city and further afield.

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“In the cost of living crisis we are seeing regular scams involving text messages promising energy refunds, energy discounts, tax rebates and cost of living payments among other things. The purpose of these scams is for the scammers to obtain your personal information so that they can steal your identity or get access to your money.”

Galliagh Women’s Group at a scam awareness workshop delivered by CRJ staff Eamon Mc Ginley (left) and Mickey Anderson (right).

Mr Connolly urged people to be ‘scam aware’ and treat any unsolicited contact such as texts, phone calls, emails or door to door engagements with caution.

"You should never hand over your personal details to anyone you don’t trust,” he said.

“If you believe you have been the victim of a scam you should contact your bank immediately. If you see anything suspicious you should report it. You could prevent someone else to falling victim to these crimes.”

Last month the PSNI revealed that they had received a report from a member of the public who lost £1,700 in an energy discount scam.

The individual said they’d been contacted initially on October 8 via text, claiming to be owed £400 and went on to fill out their bank details, as advised in the text, on what turned out to be a fake website.

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Derry PSNI issue warning after thousands lost in scams
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CRJ are currently working with groups across the city to deliver scam awareness workshops. For further information phone 028 71271131.