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Dublin: 5°C Sunday 11 April 2021

Coronavirus scam warning: 'You will not get phone calls asking for your bank details from the government'

There have been a number of reported cases.

Image: Shutterstock/fizkes

THE PUBLIC HAS been warned not to be tricked into giving out any of their personal details by scammers purporting to be from the Government. 

Liz Canavan, a senior official in the Department of An Taoiseach, said she was contacted by her colleagues in the Department of Social Protection about an ongoing scam. 

She said that her department has become aware of a number of members of the public receiving phone calls from individuals who say they are from the department and requesting their bank or financial institution account details.

Scammers appear to be taking advantage of the number of people who have signed up for the emergency pandemic payment, the department believes.

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment was announced last week to help people who have lost work because of the coronavirus outbreak.  

The payment of €203 per week will be available, for a six-week period, to all employees and the self-employed who have been affected by the seizing up of economic activity. It is due to be paid today.

She said: “You will not get phone calls asking for your bank details from the government.”

Earlier this month, gardaí had appealed to the public to be wary of a number of scams which have popped up since the outbreak started. 

Two types of fraud being highlighted involve internet phishing and social engineering scams. 

A statement last week from the gardaí read: “An Garda Siochana would like to make the public aware of the possibility for fraudsters exploiting the spread of Covid-19 Coronavirus to carry out scams either online or in person.

 ”A phishing scam involves an unsolicited email, text, WhatsApp or phonecall from someone claiming to be from a legitimate organisation, and is a ruse for the individual to gain access to personal information. 

“Social engineering scams exploit the charitable nature of people via social media or in person by asking for donations to so-called charitable organisations.”

Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a scam is urged to contact their local garda station. 

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