Superintendent Gerard Pollock, Chair of ScamwiseNI said: “We know that from this week, people will start to register for the High Street ‘Spend Local’ Scheme and demand for the voucher is expected to be very high. I understand people will be keen to register and use their cards as soon as possible, but scammers and criminals know this too and will be seeking to use this opportunity to gather personal and financial information for their own gain and your financial loss.
“So I urge everyone to be vigilant and to follow official advice on registering for the scheme by the dedicated online portal on NI Direct from September 27th or by the telephone application process from the 11th October. It’s important to know this will never include cold calls to your house or to your telephone.
“Remember to never disclose your personal or banking details to anyone over the phone or online, no matter how convincing they may seem, and never allow an unauthorised person to have access to such details. Guarding your personal and banking details is essential. For further general advice and information on scams visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/scamwiseni or the ScamwiseNI Facebook page @scamwiseni. If you have any concerns about 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. You can also call police on the non-emergency number 101.”