Woman's shock as €1,500 taken from account
A YOUNG woman has spoken of her shock after €1,500 was stolen from her bank account and spent on three flights and various shopping sprees.
Meg McMenamin (22), from Knocklyon, Dublin, said she "almost passed out" when she got a call from Bank of Ireland on Thursday asking about the strange transactions that all occurred within hours of one another.
The thieves, who had somehow got hold of her details, had managed to spend €602 on two different flights with an online travel agent and €162 on a flight with an airline.
Her bank statement did not tell her where the culprits had planned on travelling at her expense.
On top of that, more than €300 had been spent on a shopping spree in Arnotts, €80 in River Island and a number of other places that included a trip to a cinema in Wexford.
"I was totally shocked. I didn't even know until the bank rang me", Ms Mc Menamin told the Herald.
"I was in work and I checked my phone and the bank had sent me a text and an email and left me voicemail.
"I gave them a call and they said, 'We just wanted to check with you about a number of transactions on your account', and they ran through each of them and I was like, 'No, no, no'."
The UCD English and history graduate, who is an assistant manager at a city maternity store, said that by the end of her conversation with the bank she was "hysterical".
"They told me my account had obviously been compromised," she said.
"I had my card with me so they told me they would file a fraud report and that it could take up to three weeks to get the money back.
"I couldn't believe it. They told me the card details could have been taken at an ATM, or when I handed it to a shop assistant or that someone had my details.
"I nearly passed out. I just thought, 'Oh my God, how is this happening?'.
"You always hear of these things happening to other people, but I never thought it would happen to me."
Bank of Ireland said it could not comment on individual cases, but wherever fraud was suspected or reported it would carry out a full investigation.
"There are various organisations that are out there making fraud attempts," a spokesperson for the bank said.
"We would advise all of our customers to protect their details and never, ever respond to an email request purporting to be from the bank looking for details."