Gardaí warn public on cold calling scam

People are being warned to be wary of any unsolicited or cold calls as they could be a scam.

Gardaí have received reports over the last number of weeks of people receiving calls on their land lines from someone pretending to be a security manager at a well-known retailer in Ireland.

The fraudster then claims there was an attempt to use the person’s debit or credit card in the store and asks them to contact their financial institution or the gardaí immediately.

The Gardaí have described how the scam takes place in a statement.

In summary, a well known retailer in Ireland, has received numerous calls from members of the public stating that they received a telephone call to their landline from an individual purporting to be a 'Security Manager' from the store.

The member of the public alleges that they were informed by the 'security manager' that there was an attempted fraudulent use of their Debit or Credit Card in the store. Over 30 members of the public have made contact with the retailer concerned.

In some cases the member of the public has been asked to provide personal financial details to the 'security manager'.

If they decline, the 'security manager' advises the member of the public to either make contact with their financial institution using the telephone number on the reverse of their genuine card or alternatively contact the Gardai (with a local garda phone number provided for that purpose) and provide this information to them.

Using the same landline on which they received the call from the purported 'security manager', the customer then hangs up and assumes they are phoning either the bank or the Gardai as instructed.

However the fraudulent caller has not terminated the original call and the call remains active resulting in the victim disclosing their personal banking details to the fraudster or an accomplice who has remained on the line.

This has resulted in individuals sharing their personal information with fraudsters and in some cases complying with requests to transfer money out of their accounts.

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