Scammers targeting people in Northern Ireland claim they need cash to get back to homes in the south

Scammers targeting people in Northern Ireland claim they need cash to get back to homes in the south

SCAMMERS have been targeting people at cashpoints in Northern Ireland asking them to withdraw cash in exchange for a bank transfer to help them get home.

Groups of people and individuals have been reportedly approaching people claiming they have lost their wallet or bank card and are unable to get home.

They ask their victims to withdraw money for them and promise to pay them back via bank transfer, which never materialises despite them showing the transaction on their phones.

The PSNI’s Chief Inspector Alan Lowry said: “In recent weeks, police have received reports from members of the public who have been approached by a group of people, or individuals, claiming to be from the south of Ireland.

“These fraudsters claim they have forgotten or lost their wallet/bank card and have no way to get home –and no money or way to pay for transport.

“They then ask people to withdraw money from a cash machine in exchange for an immediate bank transfer – showing proof on a mobile phone of the exchange leading the victim to believe the money has already been deposited into their account.

“However, the money never arrives into the victim’s bank account and sums ranging up to £500 in cash have been taken by criminals from accounts.”

Police have today urged the public to be vigilant to these fraudsters.

“Our enquiries remain ongoing and we would appeal to anyone who believes they have been targeted in this way recently, but have not reported it, to do so now to police, to their bank and to Action Fraud,” Chf Insp Lowry said.

“Criminals use every trick in the book to steal your money, and can sound so convincing it's understandable how people can be persuaded they are genuine. However, they're anything but.

He added: “Our advice is that you should never disclose your personal or financial details over the phone, in person, or by email, to someone you don't know. Guarding your personal and banking details is essential.”