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21st Feb 2018

Gardaí issue warning as scammers dupe people out of thousands in gift cards

'Always say no to unsolicited callers.'

Anna O'Rourke

Gardaí are warning consumers after people in Wicklow, Tipperary and Galway were frauded out of thousands of euro.

Scammers are targeting people over the phone by getting in touch and claiming that they are owed money.

One person in Galway was tricked into buying €2,200 worth of iTunes vouchers, while another two victims in Wicklow and Tipperary were tricked into parting with over €1,000 each by the crooks behind the scheme.

A person in Dublin was nearly caught by the scammers when they attempted to buy over €1,000 worth of vouchers in a supermarket but a staff member became suspicious and raised the alarm with Gardaí.

The scam involves people being called by an ‘organisation’ claiming to be owed money by the victim and threatening that they could be prosecuted.

The scammers use personal information about the victim to convince them they’re in trouble, Gardaí say.

The victims are told that the payment can be made with iTunes vouchers.

Once they have bought the vouchers in a shop, the victims are instructed to give the scammer the voucher number over the phone.

Older people are thought to be especially vulnerable to this.

Gardaí are warning people not to fall for anyone who claims to have information about them.

“No company will request payment via iTunes or any other online vouchers,” a Garda spokesperson said.

“If you receive a call like this, end the call and contact Gardaí.

“Always say no to unsolicited callers or texters seeking private information about you – private information includes your name, address, date of birth, family details, bank account numbers, PIN, Passwords.”