Strangford MP Jim Shannon has called for the general public to be vigilant with the latest telephone scams.
Mr Shannon said: “Be careful there are fraudsters who claim that your National Insurance Number (NINO) has been used in a tax fraud or in criminal activity and they are seeking your other private details such as bank accounts.
“I have been inundated with those who have experienced this in the last week and indeed I have been sent communication about an alleged Paypal account problem – I don’t have a paypal account so I knew immediately it was a scam – for those who have Paypal, the instinct would be to follow the link and this opens you up to have information stolen.
“Remember, for paypal etc, you should always see your name at the top – not user etc. Never follow the link but open a fresh browser page and make sure there is a lock at the top when you have opened the Paypal log in page.
“If you do not see a lock – DO NOT put in your log in details in.
“A lady has contacted me to say that she had a close shave after discussing her pension with a scammer but thankfully she gave no information. She rang her daughter who explained to her that the HMRC will only contact you by letter or by your name – never with a recorded message alone.
“Remember – you should go through security questions and they should be able to prove to you that they know who you are as much as you have to prove.
“Never give online account details and NEVER transfer money to anyone on a first call.
“Someone who is genuine will understand your need to verify their identity. Chief Superintendent Simon Walls of PSNI has high-lighted that this is an on-going issue and under NO circumstances should anyone give any information to a stranger on the phone – no bank or building society will ask for these details – be careful – be aware!” added Jim Shannon.