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Gardai continue to issue warnings, citing a sharp rise in scams reported over the last three weeks

DUBLIN: Despite the Gardaí warnings, people continue to be deceived by fraudsters. The Gardaí has again issued a public warning due to an increase in the number of people being scammed around the country over the past three weeks. Gardai says that every day in Ireland someone is a victim of scam. In the first 20 days of April 2021, the number of such scams increased fivefold compared to April 2019, Garda said.

There have been scams in which people claim to be from Garda Sochána and the Attorney General’s Office. They also traps people in connection with social welfare, banks, delivery companies and other businesses.

Scammers’ methods of fraud are changing, but officials warn that their ultimate goal is always to extort money. They can only steal money by gaining access to sensitive data. Everyone should take precautions to keep this information private.

Recent scams:

The most recent scam involves scammers trying to clone the garda confidential line number in order to trick people into providing their personal information.

A call from a number similar to the Garda Confidential Line will inform you that a fraud or crime is being investigated and that it needs your details. The phone call comes from 0-1800-666-111. The Garda Confidential Line number is 1800-666-111, and outgoing calls are not allowed, Gardai reminds.

Fraudsters may even claim to have an arrest warrant, that your DNA was found in a wrecked car and seized drugs, and that you must pay a fee to avoid further action.

There have also been reports of people receiving phone calls and texts from fraudsters pretending to be from the Department of Social Protection and seeking their PPS number.

Few scams that occurred this month

After being told that they were being investigated for money laundering, an injured party was forced to pay more than €20,000 to fraudsters.

A man in Galway lost over €20,000 after being told that his PPS number had been found during a house raid.

A man in Waterford lost about €5,000 after being told that his PPS number had been traced back to them and was linked to drugs and money laundering.

An individual from Donegal lost €750 after being contacted by an unknown person who informed him that he had won a prize of €15,000 and that he could claim the money using an Amazon card.

Do not give out personal information to anyone

Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, gives simple advice not to give out personal information to anyone. “Do not engage, do not call them back, do not click links, do not download apps, do not arrange to meet them, and do not give them your hard-earned money. Never, ever give away personal data like pins, codes, passwords, PPS numbers, or DOBs,” he warned.

“If the person says they are from someone you do business with, or say they are from a club you are a member of, and they are seeking payment, check to ensure that this is coming from a legitimate source. Independently verify this information. Ring your local Garda station and report any attempted fraud,” he added.

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