Limerick gardai warn about financial scams as elderly woman is duped

Alan Owens

Reporter:

GARDAI in Limerick have issued a warning about financial scams as an elderly woman was the victim of an elaborate fraud.

Gardai said the woman in her 70s was the victim of a scam that saw her defrauded of €1,000 after she received a phone saying there was "suspicious activity on her bank account".

The woman, who lives alone in Patrickswell, was told that €1,500 had been withdrawn and was told that the bank could only reimburse her with amounts of €2,500.

She was told to go to her post office and transfer €1,000 to a specific Western Union account and she would receive the total amount back. 

"Unfortunately, this lady did as she was told and she later realised that this was a hoax. She is at the loss of €1,000. Once Gardai were informed an attempt was made to prevent the cash from being transferred but it had already been drawn out in the Philippines," said a garda spokesperson.

In this case, the person that called the woman said he was from her bank, which convinced her that it was legitimate, gardai said, and so she followed the instructions.

"It is no harm to hang up if you are contacted by a person claiming to be from a bank or credit union and ring somebody you trust and get their advice. Ring your local gardai as the gardai always need to know the scams that are happening in the area so that they can warn others," they said.

Gardai said there was a number of ways to detect a scam and one of them is if a phone call comes “out of the blue”.

"If you didn’t start the contact, then you should be very suspicious. In this case the lady was made to feel that she had to be very quick in her response or that she would lose her €1,500.

"This is very typical of the scammers, they want you to react immediately and not to think too deeply about it or to give you a chance to tell anybody about it," said the garda spokesperson.