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app trap PSNI urge Whatsapp users to be on guard after wave of scams

Scams involve messages from people claiming to be family members in desperate need of money

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 (Nick Ansell/PA)

(Nick Ansell/PA)

(Nick Ansell/PA)

The PSNI have issued an urgent warning for the public to be on their guard against a recent wave of scams.

The scams involve a text or WhatsApp from a person claiming to be a family member, and have the common aim of encouraging the recipient to transfer money.

The renewed warning comes after numerous reports were received in recent days from victim’s right across the province.

Superintendent Gerard Pollock said: “We have noted an increase in the number of reports of this type of scam from individuals across Northern Ireland.

“In each case, a person purporting to be a family member, often a daughter or son, asks for money. Typically, the ‘child’ is short of money or late paying bills, and asks the recipient to transfer money into an account. This is backed by a story that he or she has recently changed their phone or phone number.

“It’s a despicable act, which takes advantage of a person’s willingness to help out loved ones who are perhaps away from home.

“In some of these cases the victim has been prudent enough to check with the relative and therefore realise it’s a scam before departing with any money. Sadly, however, this isn’t always the case. Hard-earned savings can easily be gone in a flash,”

For further advice and information visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni.

If you have any concerns about unsolicited calls, emails or letters then please report it to Action Fraud via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2040. You can also call police on the non-emergency number 101.

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