Gardai have issued a warning about a scam in which victims are asked to wire money to a third party to prevent a theft on their account, only to discover their money has been taken.
A Limerick woman in her 70s was duped out of €1,000 after being contacted by a person claiming to work at a bank.
“Last Thursday, at 10am, a lady in her 70s, living alone in Patrickswell, received a phone call allegedly from her bank. She was told that there was suspicious activity on her bank account and that €1,500 had been withdrawn,” said Sergeant Ber Leetch, crime prevention officer at Henry Street Garda Station.
“She was then told that the bank could only reimburse her with amounts of €2,500 so she should go to her post office and transfer €1,000 to a specific Western Union account and then she would receive the total amount of €2,500 back. Unfortunately, this lady did as she was told and she later realised it was a hoax.”
Once the gardaí were informed, an attempt was made to prevent the cash from being transferred, but the €1,000 had already been withdrawn in the Philippines.
Sgt Leetch said people should always be suspicious if a call comes out of the blue or if you have to act quickly on the information they are giving you.
“It is no harm to hang up if you are contacted by a person claiming to be from a bank or credit union,” he said, adding people could ring their local garda for advice if they were unsure.
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