A COUNTY Limerick woman has told how she got scammed out of almost €10,000 in savings as the perpetrators used a number of ploys to bleed her dry.
She details the sneaky, underhanded and devious methods they used to steal her hard-earned savings. The woman doesn’t wish to be named but does want to warn others not to fall into the traps she fell into.
“I first saw an ad for online loans on Facebook in January 2020. I decided to apply for a car loan of €7,000. I got approval and then got back a message through email that if I gave them some money I'd get more of a loan. So I gave them €300,” she said.
The requests for more money kept coming. After a few months she had handed over €3,000 and “no sign of my loan on the way”.
“I had asked about it several times but got no reply from them,” she said. If that wasn't bad enough, matters took another duplicitous turn.
“I got a message on WhatsApp from a man claiming to be a solicitor. He said they found the man that took the money off me for the supposed loan. The 'solicitor' said if I paid him a fee of €300 he could get me my money back so I paid it."
Then there was another twist in the tale.
“A bank official sent me a message looking for money from me so he could send me over the money I had lost. It cost €400. I asked him why it was so expensive to transfer the money from his account to my account.
“He said the bank in his country do it that way. He wanted my passport photo, address, the whole lot. I gave him everything thinking I was going to be getting my money back in a few weeks,” she said.
But all she got was another demand for money this time purportedly from the customs office.
“It was about a parcel they received from France for me and it would cost €450 to transfer it to Ireland. I was getting suspicious about all the different people contacting me regarding my package. I was getting afraid that someone would call to my house when they had all my details.
“Then I received a message from a courier saying he had a parcel in a depot in Belfast for me but it would cost me money to get it to Limerick so I paid for it.”
At that stage she had paid almost €10,000 “only to find out it was all a scam”.
“There were all the different people letting on they were giving me a loan and no loan. I got worried about it all and decided to contact the guards. They said it was all a scam and to contact the banks I paid the money into through online banking. The money couldn't be traced due to it being paid into foreign bank accounts in Spain, UK and Portugal.
“I made contact with my own bank's fraud department but no luck in getting my money back. I have learned never to click on links on Facebook advertising loans. Money doesn't come easy. I lost my money instead of getting the money I was promised in a loan.”
She said she feels better after talking about how she was sucked in and hopes others won't make the same mistakes as her. However, it still brought tears to her eyes.
The perpetrators robbed more than her money - they took her sense of security too.
“I'm still in fear of someone calling to my house because they have my address. I even feel under pressure to move house somewhere else for safety. I have also changed my bank accounts and my phone number since it all happened me.”
She says she is “broke” now with no chance of getting her money back but some compensation for her will be if others don’t go through what she has.
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