Police are urging the public to be vigilant after more than £40,000 was fraudulently taken from four people across Northern Ireland in the past week.
The most recent incident happened on Tuesday, May 21, when a man from the Larne area contacted the PSNI after he had responded to an advertisement offering investment opportunities.
Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said: “They were promising significant profits in return for a small deposit. He was asked for an initial deposit of £300 to be forwarded which he did.
“He was later asked for regular requests from the company and paid a further £2,400 the full amount of money he lost totalling £2,700. It was only when he contacted the company that he discovered his money had disappeared.
“Unfortunately over the course of the last week over £40,000 has been fraudulently taken from four people across Northern Ireland. This has been an awful ordeal for each of them who believed they were communicating with legitimate representatives from organisations, but who in turn had taken money from each of them.
“Fraudsters will go to any length to scam people out of money and you might think it might never happen to you, but it can. Each scam differs in design, but the ultimate aim remains the same – to steal your money.
“Guarding your personal and banking details is essential. Never disclose them to any unauthorised person or allow anyone access to them via your computer.
“Financial institutions, utility companies, law enforcement, HMRC, internet and telecoms providers will never ask you to transfer money because your account is compromised or call out of the blue and ask for remote access to your computer or to download software.
“If you have received a call of this kind, or if you’re concerned by emails or letters then please report it to Action Fraud via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2040, or call police on the non-emergency number 101.”
Further advice and information can be obtained by visiting www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni