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Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 7°C
older woman image via Shutterstock
# bogus callers
Fraudsters pretending to be high-end store staff scam Irish people out of thousands
One victim was convinced to transfer €38,000 out of their bank account.

A NEW AND elaborate scam has arrived in Ireland and gardaí are warning the public to beware as victims have been duped out of tens of thousands of euro already.

The fraudsters call landline numbers and pretend they work as a security manager for what has been described by gardaí as a “well-known high-end” store. They tell the person someone has tried to use their card in the store and advises them to either call their bank or, in some cases, their local garda station.

The victims hang up but the scammer remains on the line and when the victim dials the new number they pretend to be either a bank employee or a garda. Victims are then encouraged to disclose bank account details and some have even been convinced by a person purporting to be from their bank to transfer their money out of the account and into another.

Over 30 members of the public have made contact with the retailer concerned to say they have been the victims of this scam.

Targeting older people

Garda Detective Inspector John Foody today told reporters that a number of people have been scammed out of sums ranging between €7,000 and €38,000 in one case. He said many of those who fell victim to the fraudsters were older people.

The accounts the money was transferred into have been traced to the United Kingdom and Indonesia which makes it unlikely the victims will get their money back.

It is not know where exactly the group is operating from. However gardaí believe they are using a phonebook to select numbers as there is an alphabetical pattern with the victims’ names.

Don’t fall victim to the scammers

The scam has only been running for about two weeks and this type of fraud, called ‘vishing’ is new to Ireland but Foody said the fraudsters are “still at it”. Gardaí want to make the public aware of it so they can avoid becoming victims.

This is their advice:

  • Treat all unsolicited calls with scepticism.
  • Never provide your bank details to an unknown person over the phone or otherwise.
  • Be sceptical and never transfer funds to other accounts unless 100% satisfied that the transaction is genuine.
  • If you receive a suspicious phone call of this nature, ensure you have a dial tone before making another call.
  • The next call you make on the landline should be to a person known to you and ensure that you speak to that person to terminate the contact with the fraudulent caller.
  • Never use contact numbers provided by unknown persons.
  • Get your bank contact details independently, establish you have a dial tone and commence the call yourself.
  • If you think you may have received one of these bogus calls please monitor your bank account transactions closely.
  • Report the matter to your local garda station.

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