Gardaí warns the public about online scams targeting vulnerable people

Victims were tricked into paying 182 euros “handling costs”.

Gardaí warns the public about an online loan scam targeting vulnerable people.

Sergeant John Kelly described the fraud speaking to Patricia Messinger on C103’s Cork Today Show.

“Obviously, in every community, you have your local credit union, and credit unions are used to dealing with back-to-school loans and things like that,” Kelly said.

“But please stay away from online applications, ads on Facebook for these payday loans and things like that.

“There was a case in Naul where someone applied for a loan online, for which they had to pay about 182 euros in advance, paid the money and then obviously didn’t get any more credit.”

“So that’s what the scammers out there are looking for [opportunity] also.”

Sergeant Kelly said people should be wary of the excuses scammers give when asking for money in advance.

“Oh, it costs to get the loan and all, but if you have an upfront payment [cost]distract you from it immediately.

“And of course make sure that if you googled something, those ads might show up on Facebook afterwards.

“So be very, very careful where you trade when looking for credit online.”

Scams and scams have grown exponentially since last year, with a whopping 370% increase in fraudulent calls in 2021.

Earlier this month, Gardaí warned the public about a “Hi Mum” scam that tricked them into sending money to people they mistook for their children.

“They thought it was their son or daughter contacting them that they needed cash into an account and provided an account number,” Sergeant Kelly said.

“A few grand were paid.

“It’s not the first time we’ve seen it.”

The Garda encouraged the public to remain vigilant and share information about the scam with groups of friends and colleagues.

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