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Councillor warns of con artists targeting Co Armagh residents with sophisticated scam

Phone scam

Con artists are targeting County Armagh residents with a sophisticated computer scam in the hope of swindling them out of cash.

And a local councillor has warned the public to be on their guard after she too was targeted.

But Coucillor Sharon Haughey-Grimley fears that some might be taken in as the roguish ruse seems more than plausible.

The SDLP representative said she had received a number of calls from constituents who have been wary of cold calls purporting to be from BT Technical Department.

And the tricksters today tried to target herself!

“Lo and behold this morning I have received three scam calls,” explained Councillor Haughey-Grimley.

“The caller says they are calling from BT Technical Department and that there is a problem with your router which is being ‘pinged’ back to them. They say this is slowing down your broadband and then ask you to sit in front of your computer so they can take you step by step through how to resolve this problem.

“The reality is there is not a problem with your router and they are taking you step-by-step into their sophisticated scam, where they get you to change your settings which allows them to hack into your computer.”

Fortunately, she says, none of those who had contacted herself had been taken in and she too was prepared when the phone rang!

The councillor continued: “I asked them why they needed me to go into my computer if it was a router problem, as both are completely separate devices. They hung up immediately.

“I’m urging local people not to fall for this scam and to spread the word to as many people as possible, especially the elderly or those unsure of computer/technical issues, so that they are not caught out by this.

“People should not accept cold calls from any organisation without some form of verification of who is calling. Most genuine callers will be able to give you a number to call back. And NEVER give out bank or card details to any cold caller.”

“We all must be vigilant against such scams. Simply say no to cold callers and hang up immediately.”

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