Causeway Coast and Glens Policing and Community Safety Partnership is urging people to be on the lookout for scammers this Valentine’s Day.
Alderman William King, Chair of the PCSP said: “There are all sorts of scams and scammers around who are happy to take advantage of people’s vulnerability and good faith as they look for love or companionship this Valentine’s Day. “Last year nearly 4000 people in the UK became victims of romance or dating fraud. Scammers stole £39m last year in romance or dating scams. There’s a lot of romance in the air at the moment and for many, the first stop for a date or companionship is online.
One of the problems with online interaction is that you have no real way of knowing that the person is who they say they are – and you should ask yourself if they are out to steal more than your heart. “There are things you can do to protect yourself and question the validity of who you are talking to.
Start off with a reputable website, look out for someone asking lots of questions but not giving any detail about themselves and don’t ever hand over any money or send goods such as iPhones or iPads.” Superintendent John Magill added: “If you want to buy that something special for someone on Valentine’s Day, make sure you shop from reputable websites and that you keep your details safe. There will be lots of enticing offers so think smart and stay scam wise.” For more information on what to do if you think you have become the victim of a romance or dating scam, contact www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or go to http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/fraud_protection/dating_fraud
As part of the PSNI’s ScamwiseNI initiative, they have produced a short audio clip which details the experience of ‘John’ who has been a victim of scammers. Please have a listen to the short audio clip below.