scam-cation | 

Over 20 people scammed out of Northern Ireland holiday as fraudster robs deposits

At least 24 people have been scammed out of a holiday home in Portrush, County Antrim, police believe.

Portrush

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

At least 24 people have been scammed out of a holiday home in Portrush, County Antrim, police believe.

Fake advertisements for a house allegedly in Northern Ireland were posted on social media complete with photos.

The PSNI say the house is real, but it’s actual owners had no idea it was being used to fuel fraud.

Victims of the scam put down deposits for the accommodation but never heard from the poster again, the PSNI say..

“The victims used PayPal to pay sizeable deposits of several hundred pounds, the suspect always requesting they do so through the friends and family payment function,” PSNI Detective Sergeant Gardiner told BBC Northern Ireland.

"However after payment, the victims did not receive any further information and in many cases were blocked by the profile."

One victim was “left out of pocket and their hopes of a summer getaway dashed,” BBC NI reports.

A 23-year-old woman has been arrested in Belfast on suspicion of multiple counts of fraud by false representation.

The PSNI fear there may be more victims who haven’t yet come forward.

"We would ask that they contact us on 101 so that we have a fuller picture of the extent of this scam," said Det Sgt Gardiner.

A PSNI spokesperson said detectives investigating the scam “falsely advertising a holiday home in Portrush” have charged the woman.

"The woman, charged with 24 counts of fraud by false representation, is due to appear before Belfast Magistrates' Court on 9th November,” they said.

“As is usual procedure, all charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service.”


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