New low as scammers prey on deceased Cavan woman's family

“Appalling and disgusting” is how one councillor described a recent RIP scam that targeted a young woman who died in east Cavan.

Cllr Shane P O’Reilly (Ind) highlighted the case at this week’s meeting of Cavan County Council, which took place on Monday afternoon in council chambers.

The Mullagh man explained that the undertakers had placed the death notice on the RIP website only for scammers to come along and hack the notice, which was then shared as a link on social media, encouraging people to click to view the funeral mass. Once the link was clicked, people were asked to pay for the service.

“This is the absolute lowest of the low,” fumed Cllr O’Reilly, himself an undertaker by profession.

“When people know the person who has died, they are very likely to click on these links only to be scammed into losing money to a fake proposal.”

Cllr O’Reilly went on to tell the meeting that scammers had reached a new level of low and expressed his belief that the media “has not done enough” to combat “this very unscrupulous behaviour”.

“I have spoken to the Gardaí about what happened and I have been told that a new department is being established to deal with this. We have also contacted the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) and Meta, which is totally relinquishing its responsibilities, as far as I’m concerned, when it comes to these types of scams. And, despite the fact that the matter was reported to Meta, it took until an hour before the Mass took place for it to be taken down,” he claimed.

Fine Gael’s T.P. O’Reilly then highlighted his concerns over the matter. He said it was “a very disturbing incident”.

“It initially appeared as something genuine but it wasn’t and I would urge everyone to be vigilant and careful online,” he continued.

“Do not pass bank or card details onto websites for any reason; these people are scammers and they will stop at nothing to do you out of a few pounds.”

Cllr Patricia Walsh (FF) then pointed to those “who are not computer savvy” saying they were particularly vulnerable to these sophisticated scams. “My advice,” she added, “is not to click on these links on Facebook.”

In conclusion, Cllr Trevor Smith (FG) told those gathered that he was the recipient of a friend request on Facebook recently that brought him to a GoFundMe page, which asked him to donate to the funeral costs of a local family that lost a loved one.

“Of course it was fake,” said the Ballyjamesduff representative. “And, to be honest, it really was a new low.”