Northern Ireland

Elderly Ballymena woman scammed by bogus official

An elderly Ballymena woman has been swindled out of money by a man pretending to be a government official.

The man contacted the pensioner by phone saying she was due a refund of bank charges worth several thousand pounds.

She was told to pay an administration fee via a Paypoint machine that would see her receive her refund.

There are believed to be similar schemes operating across Northern Ireland.

The woman received no further contact from the man masquerading as a government official and the cheque she was promised never arrived.

Similar scams have been reported to police in England and other parts of Northern Ireland.

Police have asked members of the public not to give out any personal details to anyone unknown to them and to report any suspicious callers to the PSNI.

People should also keep an eye on elderly family or neighbours who they think could be vulnerable to this type of scam.