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'They sound genuine': Gardaí warn about broadband phone scam

Gardaí are warning people to be on the alert to a phone scam in which fraudsters claim to be calling from utility companies.

Image: Shutterstock/Andrey_Popov

GARDAÍ HAVE WARNED consumers and retailers of a new broadband scam targeting people over the phone.

Gardaí are warning people to be on the alert to a phone scam in which fraudsters claim to be calling from utility companies on the pretence that there are issues with the customer’s broadband service.

The scam works by a a company calling you offering to “fix” computer or broadband problems. The con artist will attempt to trick you into revealing your banking or card details and providing codes from your card reader to access your online banking and make fraudulent payments. 

Gardaí said that the caller will request  to take remote control of your computer to “assist” you, however this could allow the fraudster to show you fraudulent screens.

Gardaí said the callers are professional and will be able to transfer you to their supervisor should you request this.  They added that the phone scammers “sound genuine”.

Detective Superintendent Gerard Walsh of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau gave the following advice

“If you have received a suspicious call, hang up and phone the company the person is purporting to be from directly yourself. Do not use a number given to you by the caller and make sure you hear a dial tone before making the call. If you are concerned that you may have fallen victim to a scam contact your local Garda Station and also your bank.”

Niamh Davenport, who leads the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland’s FraudSMART programme, added: “Always be wary of any unexpected calls or texts especially those asking for personal details or payments. Never give your financial or personal information in order to release money, refund fees, or access to your computer.

“Fraudsters are very convincing but don’t be afraid to take the time to make the relevant checks. The caller will try to rush you or make you feel foolish and negligent if you don’t follow their instructions, but this is all designed to panic you into doing something you wouldn’t otherwise do.”

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