Police issue public warnings 
after latest local scam attempts


Police have issued public warnings after the latest scam attempts in the Banbridge area.

In one incident a local woman reported a con attempt by a caller claiming to be from Banbridge Health Centre, while, seperately, a Banbridge filling station was among the targets for a confusion scam operated by people seeking to change quantities of money.

The phone scam saw a local woman contacted by an international number, with the caller asking a number of personal questions, but, while claiming to be from Banbridge Health Centre, the caller was unable to verify the name of any doctor at the health centre. The resident then ended the call.

Sergeant Paul Ferguson said: “This lady became suspicious of the call and did exactly the right thing by questioning the caller and attempting to verify their identity.

“You should never divulge any personal or financial details to an unidentified caller, whether that is on the phone or in person.

“If you are unsure of the identity of a caller you are entitled to ask them to verify their identity. If you remain suspicious, end the call and contact us.

“If you would like more advice on scams and bogus callers you can check out our crime prevention section on the PSNI website (www.psni.police.uk) or contact your local crime prevention officer on the 101 number.”

Meanwhile, police are advising businesspeople throughout E District to be on their guard against a confusion scam after several incidents were reported in recent weeks.

In one incident a foreign male entered a Banbridge filling station and asked for £180 of £20 notes to be changed to £10 pound notes. A shop assistant changed the money and the male then said he wanted coins.

The assistant said he couldn’t do that and the man placed the £10 notes on the counter and was given back his £20 note. When the £10 notes were counted it transpired only £110 had been given back.

Lisa Sherman, E District Crime Prevention Officer, said: “We are advising all businesspeople to be on the alert. Carefully count any money that is offered to you and keep it in your possession.

“If the ‘customer’ claims to have changed their mind and asks for the original notes back, insist on getting your money – and counting it – before agreeing.

“Shopkeepers also have the option of not offering money-changing services to people they do not know.”