Christmas credit card clear-out

credit card

Scammers are on the increase this Christmas period

VICTIMS of telephone and email scams are growing in Fermanagh in the run up to Christmas.

Locals are losing thousands of pounds in what police have described as an increasingly ‘prevalent’ issue here.


Fraudsters have targeted people through website, email and telephone scams – with one business owner losing over £30, 000 due to a telephone scam.

Police Inspector Roy Robinson told the Fermanagh Herald that it is a difficult crime to police – and that police had been made aware of a large number of incidents reaching to thousands of pounds in recent weeks.

Despite this, he said that it is a crime that is largely ‘unreported’.

Inspector Robinson said that virtual scammers are targeting locals through emails, for example, purporting to be refunds from inland revenue, or false phone calls claiming to be from Payment Protection Insurance (PPI).

People are also falling victim to scam websites.

“One of the businesses recently lost over £30, 000 in Fermanagh. I know of a lady who lost over £10, 000 – and another who lost over £20, 000,” explained Inspector Robinson.

“The business was through a telephone call – the person knew a lot about their bank details. The other £20, 000 was dealing in shares – and the other £10, 000 was a bank refund and they allowed them to log on. Instead of a £200 refund, they lost £10,000.”


He went on: “It is very prevalent. People don’t need to break a window in or knock the door in for this.

“I would say there is definitely an increase. There’s also an embarrassment factor and people have not reported incidents.”

In Kesh, a victim of fraudsters in the last few weeks said that she found it ‘very distressing’ and her life was ‘turned around’.

Jeanette Floyd (66) told the Fermanagh Herald that fraudsters cleared out over £1,600 from her accounts.

The grandmother believes that she was the target of criminals – and she has been left fighting to get her money back over the last few days.

Prior to going into hospital for treatment, Jeanette said that she had received two ‘odd’ letters purporting to be from BT and the other from a delivery company.

Both, she said, were referring to orders that she hadn’t placed.

Then, after getting out of hospital, she received a letter alleging to be from credit company, Experian.

This was the first odd behaviour that sparked a fear for Jeannette, who contacted her bank.

“I checked with bank and found that my account was ‘locked down’ as the bank suspected suspicious movement of funds and had been unable to contact me due to phones having been locked. It was found out then found that the first amount of £180 went on November 30 followed by consecutive amounts of £480 by four.”

She has been working with the bank to get her money back.

“The most frightening thing was that these hackers had been able not only able to change all contact details with my bank but had also been able to change one digit of a credit card which also meant that any payments would have gone to them.”

How to spot fraud

While fraudsters can be difficult to spot, police have offered the following advice.

A spokesman said: “I would warn local people to be vigilant and protect themselves against unscrupulous criminals who are constantly identifying and developing new methods to defraud innocent people.

“Personal details or payments should never be disclosed to unsolicited callers or via email or online. Legitimate companies will not usually approach you in this way.

“If you have any concerns or require any further advice or information please feel free to contact your local crime prevention officer on 101. Action Fraud can also be contacted on 0300 123 2040 or via their website”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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