Cybercriminals; the ordinary person and how vulnerable they are but then we must ask about Hacks that hit the news and then just disappear. Last May there was a major HACK of the HSE. How vulnerable are people who are now going for their vaccination?

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New warning issued over PPS number scam in Ireland

15th July 2021


a woman talking on a cell phone© Provided by Extra.ie

The Irish public have been warned scammers are now trying to obtain their PPS numbers, to add to the long list of scams in recent times.

There have been no shortage of scammer trying to fraudulently trying to obtain people’s person information and/or cash in recent days.

The Gardai recently warned dating app users of romance scammers praying on vulnerable people looking for love.

a man wearing a hat: The Irish public have been warned scammers are now trying to obtain their PPS numbers through a new method. Pic: Gareth Chaney Collins© Provided by Extra.ie The Irish public have been warned scammers are now trying to obtain their PPS numbers through a new method. Pic: Gareth Chaney Collins

The Immigrant Council of Ireland issued a warning about the latest scam which appears to be targeting international protection applicants.

‘Some international protection applicants have reported getting calls from the International Protection Office asking for their PPS numbers,’ a tweet from the Immigrant Council read.

‘The IPO has confirmed they are NOT making such calls and would never ask for a person’s PPS # over the phone,’ the tweet added.

Previously, fraudsters have been latching onto dating apps as a means to prey on people looking for love while social gatherings are curtailed.

a woman holding a cell phone: Previously, fraudsters have been latching onto dating apps as a means to prey on people looking for love while social gatherings are curtailed.© Provided by Extra.ie Previously, fraudsters have been latching onto dating apps as a means to prey on people looking for love while social gatherings are curtailed.

An Irish woman lost €48,000 over the course of thirteen months to a fraudster who had wooed her online.

The woman had delayed contacting the Gardai over the scam as she was married at the time.

Another man lost over €21,000 (over five separate transactions) to a woman from the United States of America.Hacker working on computer at night under green light.© Getty Hacker working on computer at night under green light. 

In 2020, almost 200 cases of romance fraud were reported to the Gardai with the average amount of money lost in excess of €20,000.

Gardai say that the scams affect both men and women and usually leave vulnerable people with ‘a feeling of hurt and mistrust in addition to their financial loss’.

Fred is no computer buff; it is the bare minimum and hope that nobody ever decides to exploit him that keeps him engaged. However. It is was May when the HSE were hacked. Ransomware, Conti, a Russian connection were talked about the media. A ransom was demanded. We were told the HSE would conform to the Gentleman’s Agreement of No payment will be made to cybercriminals and unlike other countries who decided to pay, refused to pay. All we have read in the media is the occasional snippet that a person’s personal health file (especially if they are of a confidential nature) have been uploaded to the public arena. Why such a backseat? The people of Ireland surely have a right to know how vulnerable they are? Who is to say that the biggest medical undertaking of public health in Ireland – the COVID-19 vaccination programme aimed at vaccinating in excess of 80% of our population, is not targetted by these hackers of the HSE health system. Each person will have submitted their PPS numbers and all other data will not be part of what is already hacked? We need Truth now? We need Certainty too.

I am relieved to see that the lawyers are not shy. No foal no fee is a great incentive for solicitors to tap their potential client base and it is already happening. There are several people whose data has entered into the public domain who are now proceeding with legal action. Add to this if there are many; then like America it could be a change in our legal system with a Class Action going before the judiciary.

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