Life

Marie Louise McConville: The scammers are keeping busy - trying to scam me

Scammers have been trying their best to get my attention in recent weeks
Marie Louise McConville

I don't mind telling you all that I've become pretty darn popular these last few weeks.

All of a sudden, it appears complete strangers in particular want to get in contact with me - and steal my money.

Over many years I have written numerous stories about scams, covering all sorts but I have never been targeted myself - until now.

It all started with a text message to my phone which claimed it was from the HBSC fraud team alerting me to a payment of £240 I had apparently made to a Mr C Jones.

Instantly, I knew it was a scam as I do not bank with HSBC and realistically, it is unlikely I would have £240 to pay for anything.

The text then directed me to a web link where I could authorise the transfer.

Obviously, I just ignored it.

Then, being Mrs Popular, I got another text a few days later, again supposedly from the HSBC fraud team and again, it was in relation to a payment of £250 this time, to Mr C Jones.

Apparently, I had added him as a new payee and again I was directed to a website to cancel the transaction. No thanks and again, it was ignored.

A few days later, someone else wanted to be my friend.

This time, it was a text message from DHL.

Apparently, they had a package for me but needed extra payment for it to be delivered - to a local petrol station.

It again asked me to follow a link which I didn't.

Then, a few days later, I was shopping online with Asda, however when I tried to pay, my card was not accepted.

Instantly, I received a text message to my phone, supposedly from the Ulster Bank, telling me they had temporarily stopped my debit card, adding they would send me a unique code and I could follow the instructions from there.

As I do bank with the Ulster Bank, I decided to ignore the messages and call the bank direct.

I was connected to the fraud team, who then texted me a code, which he asked me to read back to him so they knew it was me.

The man confirmed the message was genuine and informed me that the card had been stopped as they were concerned about the payment and wanted to double check in case my card was being used fraudulently.

Now, I'll be honest, I was annoyed at the inconvenience but then I realised, the Ulster Bank had done a top job and as the man said, as he apologised, they were simply working to protect my money and for that, I am thankful.

Please remember people that scammers will stoop to any level to defraud people.

I try to keep it simple.

I just ignore and delete everything that I do not recognise.

Stay alert and stay safe.

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I have to say I was over the moon to read about Naomi Campbell becoming a mother for the first time.

The world famous supermodel announced in recent days that she had welcomed a daughter.

The 51-year-old catwalk star announced the new arrival on social media with the caption: "A beautiful little blessing has chosen me to be her mother, So honoured to have this gentle soul in my life there are no words to describe the lifelong bond that I now share with you my angel. There is no greater love".

Wonderful news.

Congratulations Naomi.

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Life in Northern Ireland took a giant leap towards reality this week and I for one was very, very thankful.

While indoor dining resumed, in the McConville household it was the lifting of one other restriction which brought excitement.

The reopening of cinemas on Monday was the one thing we had all been waiting for and we wasted no time getting online and booking our tickets to see Peter Rabbit 2.

Once school was finished on Monday and the homework was done, off we went and I have to say it was just wonderful to be out and in the cinema, buying snacks and seeing the kids having so much fun.

And, despite being a bit nervous about it all, it was all fine and it was clear so much work had gone into keeping both the staff and customers safe.

All the seats around our bubble in the cinema had been locked meaning no one else could sit near us and there was plenty of hand sanitiser.

It was wonderful to see Peter Rabbit and his pals back in McGregor's garden causing havoc and hearing the kids laughing out loud made me feel like we are nearly there - the new normal is within reach.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that it's onwards and upwards from here.

Here's to the best summer yet.

**Competitions will return next week

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