Details of the scam
A group of older people have been targetted by a phishing attack.
Staff at a Post Office in Bangor became aware of a number of vulnerable customers aged in their 60s who came into the branch, asking to use MoneyGram (Payment Transfer Service).
None of them had used this method of payment before.
The four customers came in separately, each unaware of each other and each of them told staff that the payment transfers were for a family friend in America, who had requested they send between $700-$750 in order to claim a prize of $50,000.00 dollars.
When questioned further each of the customers stated that they had had received emails from family/ friends in America.
Post office staff managed to convince the customers that they were being targeted by a scam and prevented the money from being transferred.
There is concern that others may well have been targeted by the same scam and have sent money via a Money Transfer Service.
Advice when using a money transfer service
There are several simple guidelines to remember. You should never:
- send money to people you haven't met in person
- send money to pay for taxes or fees on lottery or prize winnings
- use a test question as an additional security measure to protect your transaction
- give your banking information to people or businesses you don’t know
- send money in advance to obtain a loan or credit card
- send money for an emergency situation without verifying that it’s a real emergency
- send funds from a cheque in your account until it fully clears – which can take up to six working days
What to do if you've been asked to make a transfer
If you've received a request to make this kind of money transfer and you suspect it to be fraudulent you can report it to Action Fraud.
If you are over 60 years of age and have lost money to a scam like this then you should report the incident to the PSNI using the 101 telephone line.