Gardaí issue warning after two Limerick pensioners targeted in separate bank and tradesman scams

By David Raleigh

Gardaí have issued a warning after two Co Limerick pensioners were duped into losing thousands of euro in two separate scams.

A woman in her 70s, from Askeaton, Co Limerick, was scammed in a telephone banking fraud when she received a phone call from a man claiming to be from her bank.

“He informed her that there had been unauthorised transactions done on her credit cards but that he had now cancelled her cards and he would help her to get her money back,” explained Sergeant Ber Leetch, Crime Prevention Officer at Henry Street Garda Station.

File image.

“The lady was then given instructions to travel to Limerick city centre and on how to transfer cash to a particular account, she did this.”

This male rang her back to inform her that the money had gone through and that she must now destroy all receipts for security purposes, so all of the receipts were destroyed by her.

Sergeant Leetch advised elderly people and their loved ones to be “very suspicious of phone calls that come out of the blue claiming to be from any financial institution”.

“There is nothing stopping you from hanging up on the caller and (contacting) your bank directly yourself. This at least means that you are definitely speaking to your bank. Even your bank won’t ask for all of your details or passwords and they will never ask you to transfer cash via a post office or any other form of cash transfer.”

These criminals are targeting elderly people especially so if you do receive a call of this nature presume that it is a scam, hang up and if you want to be reassured contact your bank directly or get a member of your family to do it for you, she added.

In another recent scam, a man in his 70s who lives alone in the Ballyneety area, handed over €2,000 to a group of mean who called to his house offering to install new windows at the property.

“They called to give him a quote for new windows and doors to an extension at his home and then left. The following day at lunchtime one of these men called back and the elderly gentleman gave him €2,000. I’m afraid that these men or the cash will never be seen again,” said Sgt Leetch.

“The Garda advice here is that if any work needs to be done around the house or garden do not employ anybody who calls to your house out of the blue. Only get a reputable company to do work for you, and better again, if they were recommended to you by a trusted neighbour,” Sgt Leetch added.

“When it comes to payment, it is better to pay by cheque, as at least this may be traced if things go wrong. Do not offer cash, any reputable company would prefer cheques,” she said.

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