Monday 19 March 2018

Garda warning over 'vishing' scam as victim transfers €22,000 to bogus caller

The scam involves the sue of landline phones
The scam involves the sue of landline phones
Brian O'Reilly

Brian O'Reilly

GARDAI have issued a warning over a a new 'vishing' scam - as it was revealed one recent victim transferred €22,000 to scammers.

‘Vishing’ is the use of phonecalls by criminals to deceive people into providing personal financial information in an effort to commit fraud.

‘Vishing’ is a separate term to ‘phishing’ which is the email version of the fraud.

Members of the public are receiving landline calls purporting to be from a 'security manager' of a well known company or store.

For instance Microsoft is a common company for the scammers to use - due to the high amount of homes using Microsoft products.

The criminal will use a common, well known company in the hope the victim will have used the product or service.

The scammer will then inform the victim that they need to provide their financial details to the 'security manager'.

In most instances people will decline this request - so the scammer will tell them if they are not convinced they are genuine to call their local bank or garda station instead.

The victim will then hang up the phone before picking it up dialling the genuine number of their bank or local garda station.

However the scammer will not have terminated the call on their end, and will then resume the call pretending to be a bank employee or guard.

The victim, now thinking they are speaking to a genuine employee, discloses the information as requested.

This scam has resulted in large amounts of money being stolen from victims.

A recent twist on the scam has seen the fraudsters use the name of a garda superintendent.

The Gardai have received complaints of instances of this scam where victims have personally lost sums in excess of €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 and injured party was directed to transfer €30,000 by a caller purporting to be a Garda Superintendent but checked with her local Garda Station who confirmed that this was a bogus request and the transaction did not proceed.

In these instances the bank’s customers were briefed by offenders that these sums were to be transferred to secure locations in other jurisdictions.

Detective Superintendent Gerard Walsh from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation says, "these criminals are targeting vulnerable, usually elderly people and I want to warn people to never give anyone details of their bank accounts or credit card numbers. Please remember that no genuine person or organisation will call and ask for your details. Gardaí are asking community organisations, relatives or neighbours of elderly people to help us to get this message across.”

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