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Gardai and Department of Social Protection issue further warnings as scam calls continue

DUBLIN: Further warnings regarding online phone call scams have been issued by the Department of Social Protection and An Garda Sochána.

Gardai have received several reports in recent days of automated calls from numbers with 085/087 prefixes. The fraudsters claims to be from the Department of Social Protection.

The recipient receives an automated message informing them that their PPS number has been hacked. The criminals will then ask the victim to press ‘one’ to speak with an investigator or official, who will request personal information such as bank details.

Gardaí have also received reports of fraudulent calls with the 087 prefix claiming to be from An Garda Sochána, mainly from counties Donegal, Monaghan, Kilkenny, and Dublin.

This call is also an automated message stating that the Garda is investigating the recipient for suspected activity related to their PPS number. The victim is then instructed to press a number to rectify the situation. The call will then be connected to someone who will ask for the recipient’s personal information.

Advice from Department of Social Welfare

The website of the Department of Social Protection has been updated with scam call advice. The department reminds people that they will never ask for bank information over the phone or seek personal information via text messaging.

“If you receive such a call or text, please do not engage with the caller and do not share any part of your PPS Number, bank account details or any other personal information with them,” the Department said on their website.

Anyone who has shared their personal information is asked to contact Gardai and their financial institution.

Gardai advises…

● Do not engage with the caller

● Do not return the call

● Do not follow the automated instructions – Do not press 1 etc

● Never transfer money

● Never disclose personal or financial information

● Hang up and block the number if possible

“Whilst the scammers may change their stories and methods, their goal is always the same. They want to access your sensitive information and get their hands on your money,” Gardai warns.

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