Tuesday 11 December 2018

Mary (76) hit by online scams - but now she's cyber savvy

Mary Dunne at the launch of the Internet Safety Awareness booklet for older people compiled by Louth Citizens Information Service, at Louth County Library. Photo: Suzanne Collins
Mary Dunne at the launch of the Internet Safety Awareness booklet for older people compiled by Louth Citizens Information Service, at Louth County Library. Photo: Suzanne Collins
Gareth Morgan

Gareth Morgan

An elderly woman told how she was scammed three times in the space of just four years.

But Mary Dunne (76) is urging older people to get online, claiming her use of the internet helped to track a fraudster who used her card five times to buy €500 TVs in Singapore.

"If it wasn't for the internet, I wouldn't have spotted the irregularities in my bank account until it was too late," said Mary. "One Friday night, about three years ago, I was looking at my bank statement and saw five payments of €500 taken from my account in Singapore.

"I contacted the bank and they saw that the guy who had used my card was expecting to collect five TVs - but the police in Singapore were waiting and he was arrested."

Mary was unlucky enough to have her card details stolen twice more. "My card was used to buy a one-way plane ticket to New York, which the bank spotted, and also my card was used to buy a big grocery shop in Galway, where I had stayed that same weekend," she said.

But it hasn't put her off using the internet. "At my age, I just think to hell with it, I'm not going to let anyone ruin my life."

The Ardee woman is on the Louth Age Friendly Forum which, alongside the Louth Citizens Information Service, helped compile a booklet that aims to prevent older people becoming cyber victims. The 'Internet Safety - Increasing Awareness' guide details all the dangers of the internet and advises on how to spot scams, protect passwords, buy safely online and become more cyber savvy.

Irish Independent

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