FRAUDSTERS have duped a Cork person out of more than €30,000 in an investment fraud.
The victim of the fraud had invested after being offered what appeared to be a credible investment opportunity in cryptocurrency.
The fraud in recent months is currently under investigation by gardaí in Cork.
Gardai have highlighted the crime as an information campaign about fraud kicks off today.
Crime prevention officer for Cork city, Sergeant Brian McSweeney, said: “We have had an incident where the injured party was contacted about an investment opportunity involving cryptocurrency. The scammers offered the person a chance to invest, with a promise of a high return. The injured party gave bank details for the deposit of the profits from the investment. As a result, the details were used to withdraw over €30,000 from the account.” Gardai are continuing to investigate the incident and no arrests have been made.
Detective Inspector Steven Meighan of the Garda Economic Crime Bureau that such frauds are massively under-reported because people are embarrassed and ashamed to have been stung.
He said: “Typically, the person is selected either because they look at a website or they receive a direct message on social media or even get a cold phone call.” DI Meighan said that cryptocurrency and bitcoin opportunities are becoming more common now as a means of targeting people in investment frauds.
Gardai said that investment fraud has increased by 120% in the past year, with typical losses ranging between €40,000 and €50,000.
DI Meighan cited one recent case where a retired professional person lost quarter of a million euro in such a scam.
Gardai issued the following advice:
• If it is too good to be true, it probably is
• Do your own research and be wary of wild claims
• Always seek independent financial and legal advice before making any investments
• Check the various registers on the Central Bank of Ireland’s website
• Use regulated investment firms where possible (Virtual assets are not currently regulated in Ireland)
• Do not respond to unsolicited approaches or cold-calls
• Don’t click on links for websites that you don’t know
• NEVER EVER disclose your bank account passwords or codes
• NEVER allow anyone remote access to your computer