Gardaí are issuing a further warning regarding a telephone scam know as ‘Vishing’.
‘Vishing’ is the use of a telephone by criminals to deceive people into providing personal financial information in an effort to commit fraud. ‘Vishing’ is a separate term to ‘phishing’ which is the email version of this fraud and "SMShing” which is the text message version.
Members of the public receive a telephone call to their landline from an individual claiming to be a "Security Manager” from a well known store. The person is 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 Gardaí and provide this information to them. A recent twist on the scam has been the use of the name of the local Garda Superintendent by the caller.
The customer then hangs up and assumes they are phoning either the bank or the Gardaí 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.
Gardaí have received a significant increase in reports of this nature from all over the country and victims continue to lose substantial sums of money since this type of fraud was first highlighted by the Gardai and Financial Institutions in July 2015. The Gardai have received complaints of instances of "vishing” where injured parties have personally lost sums in excess of €38,000. In a case reported in the last two weeks an injured party transferred over €22,000 on the instructions of a person purporting to be a named Garda Superintendent.
In another recent case and injured party was directed to transfer €30,000 by a caller purporting to be a Garda Superintendent but checked with her local Garda Station who confirmed that this was a bogus request and the transaction did not proceed. In these instances the bank’s customers were briefed by offenders that these sums were to be transferred to secure locations in other jurisdictions.
Detective Superintendent Gerard Walsh from the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation says, "these criminals are targeting vulnerable, usually elderly people and I want to warn people to never give anyone details of their bank accounts or credit card numbers. Please remember that no genuine person or organisation will call and ask for your details. Gardaí are asking community organisations, relatives or neighbours of elderly people to help us to get this message across.”
Detective Superintendent Walsh is available for media queries between 11am and 12noon on 25th September 2015. You can request an interview by emailing email@example.com.