Cork cyber conference hears appeal from gardaí to report all fraud instances

Cork cyber conference hears appeal from gardaí to report all fraud instances
Caroline O’Driscoll, it@cork, Assistant Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon, UCC President, Professor Patrick O Shea and Lord Mayor, Cllr. Tony Fitzgerald at the UCC cyber conference. Picture: Tomas Tyner.

Less than 5% of cyber fraud is reported to the Gardaí a cyber fraud conference held at University College Cork has heard.

Detective Superintendent of the Garda Cyber Crime Bureau Michael Gubbins spoke at the conference along with his colleague Detective Chief Superintendent of the Financial Intelligence Unit, Patrick Lordan.

The event, called ‘Hacking the Human: Cyber Fraud in a Digital Age’ was attended by Assistant Commissioner Anne Marie McMahon, Lord Mayor Tony Fitzgerald, UCC President Patrick O’Shea and Cork’s top police officer Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin.

Det Supt Gubbins appealed to students and small businesses at the conference to report instances of crime in order to clamp down on the issue.

“If it’s not reported, we can’t explain it, can’t understand it and can’t stop it,” Det Supt Gubbins said.

Det Chief Supt Lordan, also reiterated the point that people need to report cyber fraud to them when it occurs and the sooner the better.

“If you wait 72 hours, forget about it, you won’t see your money, you need to report it straight away.” 

He also said there was an onus on the general public to report suspicious activity and to ask questions.

The Detective Chief Superintendent used an example of a man buying something with a counterfeit credit card in a shop. He needed to use three cards before he found one that worked and no suspicion was raised.

Det Chief Supt Lordan also said that no matter how small the issue is, it is worth reporting and mentioned a case where a small company was caught out financially by a cybercriminal.

They were unable to recoup the small sum of money taken from them, however through working with the bank and identifying a suspicious bank account, they were able to freeze €2.1m that was deposited from a company in Holland to the bank account the following day and that money was then returned after it had been proven the money was fraudulently acquired.

“No matter how small the issue, ensure it is reported. It will help others,” Det Chief Supt Lordan said.

“We are currently working on upskilling the Gardaí in the area of cybercrime. All guards in training at Templemore receive at one full day’s training into cyber fraud and the various ways it can occur.”

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