Online and phone fraud soars by over 350%, Garda figures show

Online And Phone Fraud Soars By Over 350%, Garda Figures Show Online And Phone Fraud Soars By Over 350%, Garda Figures Show
Overall fraud offences increased by 111 per cent in 2021. Photo: ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP
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Sarah Slater

Online and phone fraud crime soared a massive 370 per cent last year, according to the latest figures from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB).

The findings have led Gardaí to issue a warning about the increased prevalence of vishing (fraudulent phone calls), smishing (fraudulent texts) and phishing (fraudulent emails), while overall fraud offences also increased by 111 per cent in 2021.

Gardaí are asking members of the public to be wary of unsolicited phone calls, emails and texts, reminding people not to click on any links contained in the correspondence.

The most prevalent scams are purporting to be from banks or other financial institutions, where the person is invited to click a link which brings them to a cloned website, subsequently looking for their information, including their PIN, date of birth, or PPS number.


A Garda spokesperson said: “An Garda Síochána is warning the public to never give away personal data such as bank account details, PIN numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, one time codes, PPS numbers and Eircodes.

"If you’ve been a victim of fraud, it’s vital that you change your passwords immediately and report the matter to your bank as well as to Gardaí."

The GNECB advise members of the public to also be particularly wary of cold calls and to never act on advice received from the person carrying out the cold call. This includes disclosing to them any personal data or downloading an app on your phone or device.

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