February 28, 2024

How can I spot a fraud?

While new variations of scams emerge almost daily, often there are common threads which make fraudulent approaches easier to identify. There are a number of things to look out for, including:

  • The call, letter, e-mail or text has come out of the blue.
  • You have won a prize but never entered a draw
  • You are asked for money up front to release your ‘win’
  • You are asked for your bank account, credit card details or other confidential information
  • You are told you must reply straight away or you will lose the winnings or refund
  • And above all, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is

General Advice

  • Watch out for tell tale signs of scams: promise of huge rewards such as lottery winnings, urgent action required and requests for upfront payment or private information. Be skeptical of all unsolicited contact and remember if it sounds too good to be true, it generally is.
  • Never, ever, reply to unsolicited emails (spam) and be careful when clicking links in emails to avoid potential threats such as phishing.
  • If you have already sent money, do not send any more. If you have sent bank details, notify your bank and close your account.
  • If you think you have been the victim of fraudulent activity, you should report the matter to your local Garda station immediately.
  • Remember, most genuine companies will not cold-call you and request payment or sensitive information. If you are unsure you should hang up and verify the approach with the company directly using their published contact details.
  • Never send any money or financial information in order to receive a prize or to accept an offer of employment
  • When shopping online do not disclose personal information which is not necessary to complete a transaction. Certain personal details, combined with your credit card number could potentially lead to identity theft.