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scam alert Scammers target people in NI trying to apply for £100 High Street Voucher

Scammers have been claiming to apply for the scheme on behalf of their victims in order to get personal details

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Economy Minister Gordon Lyons launching the high street voucher scheme  (Liam McBurney/PA)

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons launching the high street voucher scheme (Liam McBurney/PA)

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons launching the high street voucher scheme (Liam McBurney/PA)

Scammers are targeting those who are planning to apply for Stormont’s new High Street Voucher Scheme, which opened on Monday.

There have been reports of members of the public being contacted by criminals on their mobiles as well as by cold callers turning up on their doorsteps saying they’ll apply for the scheme on behalf of their target in order to get their personal details, which the PSNI say they are aware of.

The scammers are apparently telling members of the public the voucher, which has been introduced in order to try and help local businesses recover from the economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis, will then be sent to their home address.

In reference to the scammers, PSNI superintendent Gerard Pollock said: “What they are presenting as or what they are telling the members of the public is that they’re going to apply to the scheme for them, take their details, and then they will receive the £100 voucher to their home address.

“There is no process to do that and there will be no one officially from the Department for the Economy or any official person calling at your home address to take your details in order to register you for the scheme.

“If you’re contacted out of the blue, either by phone or by text or by someone you don’t know, seeking to get you enrolled for the scheme, that’s a clear sign that it might be a scam.”

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons of the DUP urged members of the public to remain vigilant, saying: “I will work with the police and my own department will continue with our communication plan to help prevent this and get that message out there that you do not have to give over bank details in any way.”

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