Fraudsters have conned a small business and two people from Co. Tipperary out of thousands of euros through email and phone scams in recent weeks.
Gardai are investigating the scams that occurred over the past seven weeks and have appealed to businesses and people to be wary of emails and phone calls requesting you to give bank account details and personal information.
Gda. Insp. James White said the three fraud incidents they are investigating were similar yet different in each case.
One case involves a small business that received an email purporting to be from their bank outlining changes and requesting bank account details from the firm. The information was then used by the scammer to fraudulently take money from their bank account.
In another case, a fraudster rang up a person in Co. Tipperary pretending to be from the Revenue Commissioners. The caller claimed they were entitled to a tax rebate and requested their bank account details so the rebate could be paid to them. When the bank information was given, money was taken from the person's account soon after.
The third Co. Tipperary fraud case also involved a phone call. This time a person received a call purporting to be from a telecommunications company contacting them about improving their slow broadband speed. The person was asked to turn on their computer so the broadband speed could be checked. The fraudster guided the unsuspecting person through a number of steps on their computer that allowed the criminals to gain access to the computer and obtain the owner's bank account details. It resulted in money being stolen from their account.
Insp. White appealed to Tipperary businesses and people to be very wary of phonecalls and emails they receive, and urged people to alert elderly relatives and friends of the scam.
And he advised that in the event you give out details to one of these scammers and realise something is wrong, immediately alert your bank and get your accounts frozen and contact the gardai.
He said money is taken very quickly from people's bank accounts, transferred initially to an Irish based account and then transferred outside the jurisdiction. The quicker you can act the better your chances of stopping the fraud or getting your money back, he said.