DUBLIN, Ireland - People across Ireland are asked to beware a major fraud involving telephone calls seemingly being made by members of An Garda Siochana. The telephone number the calls are being made from displays as the phone number of a genuine Garda station.
These scams are nationwide and involving Garda station phone numbers in Wexford, Dublin and Donegal and gardai are urging extreme caution to all.
Gardai say there are several stages to these scam calls
1. The person receiving the call is subjected to a pre-recorded or automated message that prompts them to select an option.
2. The person is then put through to a person alleging to be a member of An Garda Siochana.
3. The scammer either looks for personal information or informs the person that their details have been involved or linked to a crime.
4. After giving over personal details the victim receives a follow-up call from another scammer seeking more details on behalf of An Garda Sochna (This call appears to be coming from a genuine Garda station number).
"An Garda Siochana will never make contact with members of the public in this fashion. Most members of the public realise these type of calls are not legitimate and do not engage with the scammers. However, An Garda Siochana appreciates that a section of society may have very little to no previous interaction with An Garda Sochna and may be more susceptible to this type of fraud," An Garda Siochana said in a statement published on Saturday.
"With this in mind An Garda Siochana is working with our National Diversity and Integration Unit to reach out through our various networks to highlight this scam to all".
Gardai are advising instructions for people that receive these calls:
Do not engage with the caller.
Do not return the call.
Do not follow the automated instructions Do not press 1 etc.
Never transfer money.
Never disclose personal or financial information.
Hang up and end the call.
"Whilst the scammers may change their stories and methods, their goal is always the same they want to access your sensitive information and get their hands on your money. Garda are urging the public to spread the word of fraud prevention as people continue to fall victim to scams on a daily basis," the gardai statement said. "In many cases, the subsequent call from the fraudsters appears to provide reassurance to the victim that this is a legitimate call, which it is not."
If you believe you may have fallen victim to this scam, you are asked to contact your financial institution and report the matter to your local Garda station.