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Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney targeted by online phishing scam

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Simon Coveney

Simon Coveney

Simon Coveney

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has been targeted by an online phishing scam.

Mr Coveney has alerted telephone contacts that they may have been contacted by someone claiming to be him seeking money.

In a message, the minister said: "I’ve been advised that some people are receiving communications purporting to be from the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and/or Simon Coveney requesting payments on the Telegram Messenger App."

"Please be advised that these are not from me. I do NOT use the Telegram Messenger App.

"So please be aware and delete any communications received purporting to be from the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and/or Simon Coveney on the Telegram Messenger App immediately. Do not respond to the communication or click on any links.

My apologies if any inconvenience caused," he added.

The scam involves a message being sent to a person via the Telegram app, purporting to be from a known contact – in this case Simon Coveney. It offers the recipient access to a “secret supply” of the antiviral drug Remdesivir in return for cash.

The fake message which is littered with grammatical errors says: “I forgot to tell you, do you know about Remdesivir the virus killer? You know its scarce now globally because the American government paid millions of dollars to the few manufacturers to book all.

“I have a secret supplier in Hong Kong. For the past one month, I have delivered more than packages of the drug to my close friends right infront of their doorstep.

“Yes it works. It has saved more than 33 infected close friends of mine. I saved their lives.

“All they do is transfer the money to me, I do everything and within 7 days, the package will be right in their doorstep.

“It will be bad if I don’t also help you because you don’t know tomorrow if you get infected.”

It is understood that if the person engages with the scam, then they are then asked to send money.

Mr Coveney moved to clarify he never uses this app and the messages are nothing to do with him.

The minister's spokesperson has been contacted for comment.

Online Editors