Scam warning

Thursday, 28 December 2017

HOUSEHOLDERS in Ballymena have been warned to be on their guard about potential scams over the holiday period, with many public bodies warning con artists are particularly active at this time of the year.
Vulnerable elderly people have been targeted in a number of ways and police have advised people not to give their personal details to anyone unless they are 100% cerain of their credentials.
The latest warning last week related a high profile phone scam that is conning vulnerable and elderly people out of thousands of pounds.
The scammers are preying on victims by cold calling them and impersonating an HMRC member of staff.
They tell them that they owe large amounts of tax which they can only pay off through digital vouchers and gift cards, including those used for Apple's iTunes Store.
Victims are told to go to a local shop, buy these vouchers and then read out the redemption code to the scammer who has kept them on the phone the whole time.
The conmen then sell on the codes or purchase high-value products, all at the victim's expense.
The scammers frequently use intimidation to get what they want, threatening to seize the victim's property or involve the police.
The use of vouchers is an attractive scam as they are easy to sell on and hard to trace once used.
HMRC would never request the settling of debt through such a method.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.


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