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Department of Social Protection issues warning over scam phone calls seeking bank details

It has issued a warning after it became aware of some members of the public receiving such calls.

Image: Shutterstock/Bacho

THE DEPARTMENT OF Employment Affairs and Social Protection has issued a warning after it became aware of a number of hoax phone calls where scammers pretend to be from the department seeking a person’s bank details.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the department said it wanted to make it “absolutely clear” that it never requests bank account or other financial institution account details from people by phone or on social media. 

“Nor do we clarify or check this information over the phone,” it said.

It comes as that department is the one responsible for administering the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment aimed at helping people who’ve lost work because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Already, 150,000 people have been put out of work by the lockdown and that figure is set to increase in the coming weeks. 

However, the department emphasised today that seeking a person’s bank details would never happen over the phone.

“Bank account information is only accepted as part of a written application to the department,” it said.

“We want to ensure that our customers and the public are made aware of this activity and that they keep their bank and other financial account information safe,” it added.

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Sean Murray

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