Public warned about scam callers pretending to be Garda members

Gardaí say number used by fraudsters can appear to be for a genuine Garda station

Gardaí have warned of scam phone calls in recent days in which fraudsters are claiming to be members of An Garda Síochána. File photograph: Getty Images

Gardaí have warned of scam phone calls in recent days in which fraudsters are claiming to be members of An Garda Síochána. File photograph: Getty Images

 

Gardaí have warned of scam phone calls in recent days in which fraudsters are claiming to be members of An Garda Síochána.

In the scam, the number calling can appear to be the phone number of a genuine Garda station. The calls involve scammers attempting to access sensitive information and money from members of the public. Gardaí have warned the public not to engage with or return the calls.

Gardaí have outlined several stages to the calls. Firstly, a person receives a call in which they are subjected to a pre-recorded or automated message that prompts them to select an option.

The person is then put through to a person alleging to be a member of An Garda Síochána.

The scammer either looks for personal information or informs the person that their details have been involved in or linked to a crime.

After providing personal details, the victim then receives a follow-up call from another scammer seeking more details, allegedly on behalf of An Garda Síochána. This call appears to be coming from a genuine Garda station number, gardaí have said.

A statement from gardaí said that An Garda Síochána “will never make contact with members of the public in this fashion.

“Most members of the public realise these types of calls are not legitimate and do not engage with the scammers. However, An Garda Síochána appreciates that a section of society may have very little to no previous interaction with An Garda Síochána and may be more susceptible to this type of fraud.”

Garda advice

The advice of gardaí is to not engage with or return the calls and not to follow the automated instructions.

People should never transfer money or disclose personal or financial information to unknown callers over the phone. Instead, members of the public should hang up and end calls requesting such actions.

“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,” the Garda statement said.

Gardaí are urging the public to spread the word of fraud prevention as people continue to fall victim to scams.

In many cases in the scam in question 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, contact your financial institution and report the matter to your local Garda station.