FERMANAGH residents have been warned to be on their guard for scammers during the festive season.
Christmas sees a spike in money being spent for presents and the crooks are determined to get their hands on your cash.
Scams of all varieties – ranging from emails, texts and social media messages designed to hack their way into your bank account – have been reported and while some are on their guard against them, others have not been so lucky.
Commenting on the increase of scams being reported, Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA, Tom Elliott said: “The increase in scams being reported locally is very concerning and the general public should be made aware of them, so that they are in a better position to protect themselves and their loved ones from becoming a victim.
“One woman reported receiving a text message supposedly from her son saying that he had lost his phone and had borrowed the one he was sending the text from and to phone him on that number as he had no money.
“She was about to call the number when realisation dawned that her son was at home and couldn’t have sent the message. She said it was particularly frightening because it was worded in exactly the language her son would have used.
“Another scam is receiving a text message or email suggesting that a parcel could not be delivered. This then invites you to follow a link to a fake site where you would be asked to pay a charge for the item to be delivered.
“This is usually such a small sum that you could be tempted to pay without even thinking about it but in doing so, you would reveal your bank or card details.
“With all the financial burdens on everyone, especially in the run up to Christmas, a season of goodwill, we should all be more careful and observant in all of our transactions.
“We also need to make everyone aware of these scams as anyone of any age can be targeted.
“Speak to older or more vulnerable people and let them know what to watch out for and never, ever give out personal information or bank details.”
If you have been a victim of a scam, report it to police on 101, or online at www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ and to your bank immediately.
You can also report to Action Fraud at: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or by calling 0300 123 2040. Information and advice is available at ScamwiseNI at : https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/scamwiseni or on their Facebook page @scamwiseni.
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