Detective Chief Inspector James Mullen said: “The PSNI have received a number of reports of bogus telephone calls from someone claiming to be from a government department.
“Scammers are inventive and can be very convincing. Their singular aim is to gain access to your money and they will employ just about any tactic to do so, from purporting to represent businesses and government agencies to claiming to be fundraising for charity.
“Always be wary of any individual that cold calls you and be especially suspicious of anyone who asks for money, banking or credit card information. It is highly unusual for any legitimate company or organisation to demand money over the phone.”
Detective Chief Inspector Mullen continues: “If you are at all suspicious about a call that you receive, hang up and phone the organisation that the person is purporting to represent to check their authenticity. Ideally make the call from another telephone so you can be sure the original caller has not remained on the line.
“Guarding your personal and banking details is essential. Never disclose them to any unauthorised person.
“If you have received a call of this kind or are concerned by the intent of 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, or call police on the non-emergency number 101.
“Further advice and information can also be obtained by visiting https://www.psni.police.uk/crime/fraud/ and www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni”