Gardaí in Cavan are warning the public of a potential fraud linked to unknown foreign phone numbers, after reports they may be part of an elaborate money-making scam.
The issue has arisen after gardaí were informed that an person in west of the county received a call from a number originating in Asia. The caller managed to convince the elderly local woman that funds had been mistakenly transferred into her account, and that they were now seeking their return.
Citing a sum of several hundred euro, it's understood that the alarm bells were raised only after the lady attended her financial institution and the astute teller pointed out the potential scam.
A Text Alert was issued by local gardaí warning others, saying: “Be aware phone calls are being made to homes randomly from Asian numbers in attempts to scam money from persons.”
It adds: “Never ever give account details over the phone.”
“It's something that has been happening all across the country,” explained Cavan Garda Inspector Niall McKiernan. “This is a fraud, and for whatever reason they seem to target older members of the community, so we just want to put the message out there to be aware of these calls, the people behind them, and what their intentions might really be,” he told The Anglo-Celt.
The latest appearance of the cold-calling scam to local landlines follows that a of a similar attempted fraud reported last year. In that case phone customers reportedly received calls, apparently from Somalia.
The Irish Cellular Industry Association (ICIA), an alliance of mobile phone operators under the banner of the business organisation Ibec, also previously issued a general warning to customers not to return calls to an unknown foreign numbers.
The ICIA said that if the call is legitimate, the chances are that the caller would call you back or leave a voicemail.