It is estimated that the people in Northern Ireland are being conned out of £100 million a year by scams being operated against them. These figures have come out of the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment. The figures have been released so that people will be more vigilant against popular scams that are taking place around Christmas time.
Some of the biggest scams currently being operated include so-called free trials, which actually charge people, as well as counterfeit goods being sold on various websites and loan applications which do not end up lending people money.
Another scam that has become popular this year is one where people believe they have been sent an e-mail from a family member or friend abroad claiming that they have been robbed. In the e-mail they ask for money to be sent to them so they can afford to get home.
Another popular scam that is currently being operated is against the people who are having computer troubles. The scammers will call any home and say that their computer has a virus on it and that they are capable of fixing the problem remotely. The person will then give them access remotely to the computer and from here they can steal a lot of valuable information.
Damian Doherty is from the Department of trading standards and he said, “Most people think that they will not be caught out by a scam, but these scams have been well engineered and people need to be extra vigilant and should not trust people immediately.”