Phone scammers impersonate AG office staff in bid to obtain bank, PPS details

Criminals tell those receiving calls they have been victims of fraud or identity theft

A new  telephone sees criminals impersonate staff at the Office of the Attorney General. Image: iStock

A new telephone sees criminals impersonate staff at the Office of the Attorney General. Image: iStock

 

A new telephone scam has surfaced in which criminals impersonate staff at the Office of the Attorney General in an attempt to mislead pepple into thinking they have been the victims of identity theft or other criminal acts.

The perpetrators have even been able to piggyback on the real telephone number of the Attorney General’s office – 6314000 – to add an additional layer of apparent legitimacy to the deception.

Details of the scam have been outlined in an alert published on the website of the Office of the Attorney General.

“The caller can make a range of claims, for example that the person has been a victim of fraud or identity theft where their identity has been used for drug trafficking or money laundering,” the alert says.

“They may also claim that there is a case against the person and a warrant out for their arrest. Personal details, which can include PPS numbers and/or bank details may also be asked for by the caller.”

The AG’s office reminded the public never to engage with these callers or return calls to these numbers or share any personal information and to report the matter to the gardaí immediately.

“The Office of the Attorney General does not request PPS numbers or bank account details from members of the public,” the alert says.

Another relatively new scam that has been circulating in Ireland in recent days sees criminals attempt to dupe people into thinking they have been overcharged by television streaming service Amazon Prime.

The scam exploits the surge in popularity of streaming services over successive Covid-19 related lockdowns and sees callers recive a call from a person alerting them to the fact that they are about to be or have just been billed around €70 for an Amazon Prime renewal. They are advised to Press 1 if they want more details of the charge or if they feel it has been imposed in error.

If the number is pressed, then victims can be connected to overseeas criminals who attempt to convince them to part with financial details or other personal information after which money can quickly disappear from the bank accounts.

Amazon has repeatedly stressed it never makes contact with its customers in this fashion.