Northern Ireland news

Bank staff foil scammers' attempt to defraud customer of £20,000

A member of the Ulster Bank staff raised the alarm after becoming suspicious

A CO Armagh woman almost lost £20,000 after being targeted by scammers pretending to be working for BT.

The woman from Lurgan received a barrage of calls, during one of which she was persuaded to download software which gave the scammers access to her email and online banking accounts.

They then transferred £20,000 of her money.

Chief Superintendent Simon Walls said: "Thankfully, this scam was stopped just in time by the bank and no money was lost. Credit to the member of the bank staff for spotting what was going on".

"You might think it might never happen to you, but it can," he said.

"Never allow any cold caller remote access to your computer, no matter how genuine or convincing they sound.

"Be especially suspicious of anyone who asks for personal details, money, banking or credit card information via the telephone.

"Once a scammer is in a victim's computer and personal details are given by the victim, their online bank accounts can be accessed and significant amounts of money lost; money they may well never get back."

Anyone who thinks they may have been scammed or wants "advice and information" can call PSNI on 101 or via nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni and @scamwiseni

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