Phone and Letter scams target Armagh locals

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Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Armagh City Councillor Cathy Rafferty has urged people to be alert to various post and telephone scams which are currently in circulation. The Sinn Féin representative is speaking from personal experience as her husband received one of these scam letters in the past few days. Councillor Rafferty said, “We received a letter to our work premises from a person named Lifeng Hong of the Bank of Ningbo, China. The letter states that an extremely wealthy person of a similar name to ours died in 2003 in China. Since this person has no next of kin the letter suggests that we take half of his estate and the bank takes the other half.”

Rafferty continued, “The letter writer goes on to encourage us to contact him or her via the email or fax number on the letter. My fear is that vulnerable people may ‘take the chance’ on a letter like this and send an email feeling like they have nothing to lose. However, once that email sends there are computer hackers out there who can use it to hack into personal computers and if someone engages in internet banking on the computer then all of their bank details are vulnerable.”

Councillor Rafferty has also been alerted to another scam, this time information is elicited via telephone, “One lady who spoke to me was contacted to say that there was a virus on her computer which this particular company could remove for a very low cost. The lady believed what they were telling her and gave them access to her computer which they used to set up an overdraft of £11,000 in her name. Some of these gangsters appear very professional and plausible so I am not surprised that people get sucked in this way. But I am urging people to be on their guard against those who would wish to steal their money, if it seems to goo to be true it probably is.”

One of the scam letters received recently

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