An Garda Síochána are warning members of the public and businesses in Donegal to be vigilant, due to continuing incidents of fraud.
There have been reports from a number of banking customers who have fallen victim to frauds that involve various forms of information extraction.
IN a statement, Donegal's crime prevention officer Sgt Paul Wallace says -
As a result of continuing incidents of fraud, a Joint Crime Prevention Initiative has been established by An Garda Síochána - Bureau of Fraud Investigation and the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland.
An Garda Síochána are warning members of the public and businesses to be vigilant due to reports from a number of banking customers who have fallen prey to frauds that involve various forms of information extraction from a person.
There are two main ways this is carried out:
- 1. Phone Fraud Scam
- The fraudster uses an invented scenario to engage a targeted victim in a manner that increases the chance the victim will divulge information or perform actions that would be unlikely in ordinary circumstances.
- During the course of a phone call or series of calls, the perpetrators obtain enough information to take control of the victim’s bank account including full details of the online banking passwords following which fraudulent high value payments are made.
- Hacked Email Accounts
- Personal email accounts of some customers (particularly company directors and individuals of high net worth) are being compromised, in many cases as a result of the individual responding to a Phishing e-mail.
- Having gained unlawful access to the company director’s e-mail account, the hacker will familiarise themselves with the email correspondence therein.
- The hacker will then issue e-mails from this account, posing as the company director, providing an excuse as to why all contact with him must be by email ("I’m boarding a plane and will be out of reach”)
The hacker may then either:
- Contact the bank purporting to be the company director, and instruct that a payment be made to a fraudulent beneficiary account, or
- Contact a colleague in the company’s finance department (e.g. financial controller, or some such person) instructing the issuance of a high value payment to a fraudulent beneficiary. In this latter situation, the bank will have been given a legitimate payment instruction by the finance department.
- Always ensure your Anti-virus software is up to date and capable of scanning for malware, and all known viruses, Trojan horses etc.
- All inbound calls/e-mails that seek any kind of sensitive information or make payment instructions should be treated as potentially suspect.
- Where a staff member receives payment instructions via e-mail, then enhanced checking procedures should be implemented at all time
- Ensure that all calls/e-mails from strangers (who are seeking potentially sensitive information, of any kind) are handled with appropriate caution
- The victim of fraud should, in the first instance, report incident to their local 24 hour Garda station.
Garda Stations in Donegal providing a 24/7 service are:
- Letterkenny on 91-67100
- Milford on 91-53060
- Buncrana on 93 – 20540
- Ballyshannon 071-98 51002.
Remember 999/112 in cases of emergency & www.garda.ie/crime prevention for further information.