Local people are being urged to be extra cautious when answering calls from people purporting to either sell something or offer refunds and ask to gain access to computers.
DUP MLA William Irwin has urged people not to allow callers to take control of their online devices or give out passwords. His advice came after a person was scammed out of £28,000 by a fraudster.
Mr Irwin said: “This is a shocking case and I really do empathise with the victim of this criminal scam as they have lost a significant amount of savings through this criminal act.
“I understand that a male caller claimed to be from BT and had a refund which needed to be sent and the victim was asked to give control of their computer to allow the refund to take place. This was where the scammer then accessed the victim’s bank account and transferred this significant sum from the account.”
He added: “You can imagine just what a massive impact this has had on the individual loosing this amount which is most likely their savings. I would urge everyone to be extra careful online and not allow anyone to take control of your computer or tablet device as this would not be a normal request from any service provider such as BT.”
He concluded, “The criminals are clearly getting much more sophisticated and when we think that last week a charity fund raiser was scammed out of £1200 destined for the NI Ambulance by online scammers the threat from online criminals is very real.”