Residents targeted in refund scam

Police are asking householders to be aware of a telephone scam operating in the borough.

Hoaxers will phone up and claim that money from refunded bank charges or a payment protection insurance claim is be paid to the victim.

The unsolicited caller then asks for an administration fee to process the payment, but in reality there is no payment and the fee paid will be lost.

Victims may be asked to pay this fee using an online payment vouchers scheme, which lets consumers exchange their banknotes and coins for a voucher code representing electronic money of the same value. This money can then be used on the internet.

Fraudsters use this service to their advantage by asking residents to purchase the vouchers and phone them back with the voucher numbers. They do this on the pretence of checking the money is present before processing the bogus repayment.

In fact, as soon as the fraudsters receive the voucher numbers, they can access the funds and steal the money from the victim.

Anyone who receives unexpected phone calls such as these have been urged to never give out personal information or pay a fee.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “If the caller is legitimate, you will be able to call them back on an officially listed phone number at a later date. Always hang up the phone if you are at all unsure. If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is.”

Anyone who has been a victim of a scam should report the incident to police on 0845 600 8000. The crime prevention office can help with advice and guidance regarding scams.