Councillor
Peter J. Martin
transparency, accountability and effective representation

Donaghadee - Councillor Peter J. Martin

Be wary of scammers at Christmas

Friday 7th December 2018

I have been contacted by a number of constituents who have highlighting directly to me an upsurge in the amount of scamming both through emails and telephone calls. It is clear that the fraudsters are ramping up their activity on the approach to Christmas.

There have been recent reports in the news of people being scammed out of tens of thousands of pounds in Northern Ireland so everyone just needs to be aware of the threat and very careful. Some very simple will protect you from the scammers. 

  1. If it sounds too good to be true it usually is. Massive tax rebates or an inheritance from someone you don’t know just don’t happen. 
  2. Paypal, Ebay and your bank will never ask you for your passwords or log in details through an email, so if you get an email requesting them send it straight to your spam box.
  3. Emails might look genuine (some have become very sophisticated) but if you have any concerns never click where they ask you to click and instead email the relevant company through the normal customer service email account and ask if they have contacted you. 
  4. If someone phones you claiming to be from Microsoft or Windows simply hang up the phone, they will ask you to self infect your computer with a Trojan virus, again aiming to get your personal details. 
  5. If someone phones you claiming to be from your bank, thank them very much and hang up the phone and leave it hung up for 5 minutes. Then contact your local branch on the number you know to confirm the phone call, 95% of the time the initial call was a scam. Never give out any personal details to anyone over the phone. 

Finally try to imagine that someone you’ve never met before stops you in the street and asks for you PayPal password or your bank account details, would you readily give them to that person? Of course we wouldn’t – we need to be similarly careful with our own personal details both on the computer and on the phone.  Be safe not sorry and have a happy Christmas

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