Police are urging the public to be extra vigilant after a rise in recent reports of scammers using fake bank apps to con victims out of money.
Reports have indicated that people have lost money after selling items on well-known online selling platforms.
Bogus buyers are making contact with sellers and once the transaction is agreed, the ‘buyer’ shows what appears to be a completed transfer into the victim’s account. These transfers are being carried out on fake bank apps and no money is being transferred.
In one incident, a victim agreed to meet a supposed ‘buyer’ to arrange the sale of an iPhone XS and whilst the ‘buyer’ showed him a banking app in which the money appeared to be transferred, this money was never received.
On another occasion, a victim attempted to sell an Xbox 1 and again, whilst the bogus buyer appeared to show the agreed money being transferred, the money was not received.
Detective Chief Superintendent Ian Saunders, Criminal Investigation Branch said: “We have noticed an increase in fake bank app scams and would encourage members of the public to be very careful when selling items online.
“Fraudsters are continuously coming up with more sophisticated ways of taking money from unsuspecting victims and people of all ages and backgrounds are being conned out of money.
“We would advise people to never hand over goods until they have payment either in the form of cash in their hand or in their bank account which they have checked online.
“Once funds have been transferred they usually appear in an account within minutes so please take the time to check before parting with goods.”
For further advice and information visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni.
If you have any concerns about unsolicited calls, emails or letters then please report it to Action Fraud via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300 123 2040. You can also call police on the non-emergency number 101.