What has happened
The PSNI have advised that scammers recently contacted a member of the public who was awaiting a medical procedure.
They introduced themselves as consultants in charge of patient care and said that to progress through the lengthy waiting list, a payment was required. The victim then transferred a significant amount of money, as requested.
This was a scam and an investigation is underway to determine how the criminals obtained the personal details of the victim.
What you should do
What can you do if you are contacted? Don’t let anyone rush you - scammers play on vulnerabilities, rely on creating panic, and that’s when people are likely to be more trusting and make mistakes.
Be naturally suspicious. and ask questions like:
- who are you?
- who do you represent?
- how long have I had been waiting on this procedure?
- why is payment required?
- what are the alternative payment methods?
- what is my alternate telephone number?
Some scammers might have some of these details, but this might be enough to make them hang up.
Tell the caller you can’t speak right now and that you will call you back when your partner or friend and so on is with you. Ask them to write out to you and send you a bill.
Now you can ring the medical facility on a number that you are comfortable with and, if possible, use a different phone or call into the facility in person.
If you have received a call of this kind or are concerned by the intent of unsolicited calls, emails or letters then please report it online to Action Fraud or by phoning 0300 123 2040.
You can also call police on the non-emergency number 101.