A local community organisation in Armagh has been scammed out of what has been described as a “substantial” amount of money.
The West Armagh Consortium – a voluntary body representing the joined interests of community groups in the west of Armagh City – is based out of the Cathedral Road Recreation Centre.
It runs and helps organise programmes in neighbourhood renewal areas.
But the Consortium’s work has been dealt a devastating blow.
A caller – purporting to be from BT – made contact.
A spokesperson for the West Armagh Consortium it had a “substantial amount of money fraudulently taken from its bank account”.
He added: “The money taken was earmarked for future programmes that local communities would benefit from.
“The scam involved somebody phoning the Consortium offices claiming to be from BT. They informed the organisation that BT were carrying out maintenance on its lines and requested a member of the organisation to carry out a number of instructions that allowed remote access to the office computer, and subsequently recorded the organisations bank details.
“The Consortium are currently assisting the police and the bank involved with their enquires.”
The spokesperson also urged other people to be aware and take precautions – and help spread the information to others who may not hear about what has happened via social media or other digital means.
He added: “The West Armagh Consortium would ask local people, organisations and businesses to be vigilant when receiving calls similar to this and do not complete any transactions via phone or computer/tablet.
“If people are phoning you and looking for you to carry out instructions relating to your phone, computer/tablet, bank or ask for any personal details – hang up.
“Think fraud, these details may allow scammers to gain remote access to your computer and bank.”