Gardaí issue warning after dramatic rise of people being scammed in the last three weeks
GARDAÍ HAVE ISSUED a warning after a dramatic increase in the number of incidents of fraud happening around the country. © Shutterstock
In a statement this evening, garda management said that someone is falling victim to a scam every day of the week.
Provisional figures show that this type of fraud has increased fivefold for the first 20 days of April 2021 compared to April 2019.
Gardaí have recently highlighted scams where people are pretending to be from An Garda Síochána, Social Welfare, the Attorney General’s Office, banks, delivery companies and other businesses.
Ways of scamming people are changing but officers warned that their end goal is always the same – to access sensitive information so they can get their hands on money.
Scammers have been attempting to clone the garda confidential line’s number in a bid to try to get people to hand over their information.
A phone call from a number similar to the Garda Confidential Line contacts a person stating they are investigating fraud activity or investigating a crime and require your details to progress the investigation.
The phone call comes from 0-1800-666-111. The actual Garda Confidential Line number is 1800-666-111 and does not make outgoing calls.
In other instances, a person or automated message tells you there is a warrant out for your arrest/an outstanding fine/ that your DNA has been found in a crashed car or on drugs seized and to prevent further action you are asked to make a payment.
·Another popular scam is when a person receives phone calls and texts from people fraudulently advising they are a named official of the Department of Social Protection and being advised your PPS number has been compromised.
Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said: “The golden rule is do not engage with people who contact you out of the blue looking for your personal information – plain and simple. Do not engage, do not call them back, do not click links, do not download apps, do not arrange to meet them, and do not give them your hard-earned money. Never, ever give away personal data like pins, codes, passwords, PPS numbers, or DOBs.
“If the person says they are from someone you do business with, or say they are from a club you are a member of, and they are seeking payment, check to ensure that this is coming from a legitimate source. Independently verify this information. Ring your local Garda station and report any attempted fraud.”
April fraud so far
Gardaí have released some notable incidents of fraud just in this month:
- Galway – Injured party lost over €20,000 after being told their PPS number was found following a raid at a house.
- Cork – Injured party at a loss of near €9,000 after being informed their DNA was found at a crime scene. They were required to send their details to assist the investigation
- Waterford –Injured party lost near €5,000 after being told their PPS number had been tracked back to them and was linked to drugs and money laundering. They were asked to download an app resulting in the loss.
- Donegal – Injured party lost €750 after being contacted via social media by an unknown person informing them they have won a prize of €15,000 but to claim the prize they needed to use an Amazon card.