Sneaky scams that could trick you into parting with thousands
Fraudsters are scanning the internet and social media for information that helps them to identify targets, writes Louise Mcbride
FRAUDSTERS are tricking Irish people into parting with thousands of euro — sometimes tens of thousands — ,while some Irish businesses have been stung for hundreds of thousands. The growing sophistication of fraudsters mean scams have become harder to spot, and therefore easier to fall for. Technology too is arming conmen with the information they need to create convincing scams.
“Fraudsters use social media and the internet to get publicly available information about you — so that they can build up a sense of trust when they contact you,” said Niamh Davenport, fraud awareness and payment manager with the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI). “Telephone scams are becoming more sophisticated. There will be call centre noises in the background. If a fraudster rings pretending to be your bank, he will be aware of the wording used by banks and will use that language in the call.”
In some cases, millions of euro have been lost to scams. “Fraudsters research their client and know their target — so whatever kind of payment may seem plausible to an individual is the payment that’s sought,” said Patrick D’arcy, a former garda who has worked with the Garda Fraud Squad and who is now a director of forensic and investigation services with Grant Thornton.
“If the fraudster is targeting a wealthy individual or company, he could be suggesting a payment of €10,000 or €20,000. Some payments sought can be into the millions.”