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Police renew appeal to guard against scams

The Bermuda Police Service has again urged the public to be wary of scams designed to steal money and collect personal information or banking details.

A police spokesman said: “In one such scam recently, a local man paid $1,000 for bedroom furniture advertised for sale on Instagram.

“He was then contacted by someone claiming to work for a money service business, who needed help moving money out of accounts.

“The same local man was ultimately contacted by someone who suggested that they were a detective in the BPS cybercrimes unit, following up on a computer related crime. The impostor asked for full personal banking details.

“Recognising that the two spontaneous requests from individuals allegedly representing official organisations were also scams, the man did not comply with either request.”

The spokesman said the matters are now under investigation by the BPS financial crimes unit.

He also highlighted another incident reported on social media in which the scammer advertises having an apartment for rent in Bermuda or elsewhere and requests a deposit to view the property.

“Once the deposit money is received, the person supposedly offering the apartment is no longer contactable and no property visit takes place,” the spokesman said.

“Residents are reminded to be wary of any social media advertisements where the seller requires an initial cash deposit and/or personal information upfront.

“In addition, it is strongly recommended that members of the public do their own due diligence regarding any social media advertisements they may be interested in.”

The spokesman said another recently reported scam appeared to target local seniors, starting with a spontaneous phone call from someone claiming to represent a communications company.

“The supposed local telecommunications company representative then sends an e-mail instructing the senior citizen to verify their personal and banking information,” he said.

“The BPS financial crimes unit is working with local banks, as well as the Government and community based seniors’ agencies, to mitigate the impact of this scam.

“As a reminder, legitimate organisations will never ask for such specific personal and banking information – like passwords, ATM pin numbers and full debit/credit card details.

“If in doubt, it is always best to contact your bank directly first, before providing any personal or banking information online.”

Suspected scams can be reported to the police by calling 211 or sending an e-mail to 211@bps.bm.

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Published March 03, 2023 at 7:56 am (Updated March 03, 2023 at 8:40 am)

Police renew appeal to guard against scams

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