Minister hit in ATM card skim fraud
A GOVERNMENT minister was shocked to discover that hundreds of euro was taken from his bank account by fraudsters based in the US.
Chief Whip Paul Kehoe has become the latest high-profile victim of a suspected global skimming network.
Gardai have launched an investigation after dozens of Bank of Ireland customers based in Wexford were targeted at the weekend.
The Fine Gael minister told the Herald he was targeted by individuals based in Chicago.
"The extraordinary thing is I haven't been in Chicago in years, but that's where my bank details apparently ended up," Mr Kehoe said.
"I was stunned when I was contacted by the bank. I lost a substantial amount of money. "The bank acted swiftly and I have to commend the manner in which it operated."
It is understood dozens of customers with accounts in the south-east have been victims in the last few days alone.
In some instances, several members of the same family have been impacted.
A spokeswoman for Bank of Ireland confirmed a number of accounts were affected.
"Bank of Ireland wishes to reassure customers that it is their policy to refund customers any losses as a result of ATM skimming incidents," she said.
Mr Kehoe is the second Fine Gael TD to talk about being a victim of ATM skimming.
Wicklow TD Simon Harris was also targeted, just months after being elected to the Dail in 2011.
Mr Harris' ATM card was skimmed in Dublin and the data was sent to Brazil.
The online criminals use a system that attempts to hack into bank accounts by using a random number selection process.