Scam callers target Derry residents

Police are warning Derry people to be wary of unsolicited phone calls and scams following incidents this week.

Wednesday, 18th May 2016, 8:06 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th May 2016, 10:10 am
Local people have been warned about telephone scammers.

The call out follows the latest in a series of reports of scam artists cold calling people in Derry and a number of other locations along the north coast on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

It is understood that the scammers were pretending to be from a government department or official organisation and claiming that the person they are contacting owes money and need to pay this as soon as possible.

Police said there were several different examples of scams over the last few months. In other instances, criminals will claim to be from a computer company and try to gain access to a home PC or laptop so that they can access financial and personal details.

In other scams, criminals are claiming that someone is entitled to money and can access it by transferring a specified amount of cash to them.

The PSNI have warned that while the scams may differ and evolve, the aim remains to take money from unsuspecting members of the public.

Police said the criminal efforts to entice money were “imaginative and varied” and that the public need to be “vigilant and alert at all times”.

PSNI Inspector Helen Garrett said: “I would urge everyone to be mindful of any unsolicited call. If it sounds too good to be true then it generally is.

“Never give out personal details over the phone. If you are unsure of a caller or feel that something is not right then ask for details to check their identity. Ask where they are phoning from, where they have got your details from and where they have obtained your telephone number. Also, ask them if there is a number you can phone them back on or if there is another representative from their company that you can contact.

“If you are still unsure about them then contact the company or business they claim to be from to check if the call is genuine. Legitimate companies won’t have a problem with you calling them back.

“Never forward cash to a company that you have not verified.”

She added: “Scammers are inventive and can be very convincing, however each scam has just one purpose - to tempt you into dropping your guard - so please be wary.

“If you have received a contact of this kind or are concerned by the intent of unsolicited calls, emails or letters then please report it to police on the non-emergency telephone number 101.”