Garda warning over 'vishing' scam as victim transfers €22,000 to bogus caller
A SINISTER phone scam has seen one person lose more than €22,000 believing they were transferring it to a garda superintendent, sparking a garda warning.
This type of crime is known as ‘vishing’ and involves criminals tricking people into giving personal financial information, which is then used to commit fraud.
Members of the public receive a call to their landline from a person claiming to be a security manager from a well-known shop. The person is then asked to provide personal financial details to the security manager.
If they decline, the security manager advises the person to either contact their financial institution using the telephone number on the back of their card or contact the gardai and give them the information.
A recent twist has seen the scammer use the name of the local garda superintendent.
The customer then hangs up and assumes they are phoning either the bank or the gardai as instructed.
However, the fraudulent caller has not terminated the original call and the call remains active, resulting in the victim disclosing their personal banking details to the fraudster or an accomplice.
Gardai have received a significant increase in reports of this nature from all over the country, and victims continue to lose substantial sums of money since this type of fraud was first highlighted by the gardai and financial institutions in 2015.
The gardai have received complaints of “vishing” where people have been robbed of more than €38,000.
In a case reported in the last two weeks an injured party transferred over €22,000 on the instructions of a person purporting to be a named garda superintendent.
In another recent case an injured party was directed to transfer €30,000 by a caller purporting to be a garda superintendent.
However, she checked with her local garda station, which confirmed that this was a bogus request and the transaction did not proceed.
Detective Superintendent Gerard Walsh from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation said criminals targeted “vulnerable, usually elderly people”.
“Please remember, no genuine person or organisation will call and ask for your details,” he said.