People are being urged to be alert to a “sophisticated scam” being carried out through fraudulent phone calls and text seeking personal information from members of the public.
A statement from the Department of Social Protection said they have become aware that some members of the public have received phone calls on their mobile phones purporting to be from a named official of the Department.
"The person is informed that their PPS number is compromised and they are asked to provide or verify their name, PPS number and in some cases, Bank Account details.
"This is a sophisticated scam. We urge our customers not to engage with these callers, not to return calls to these numbers and not to share any personal information with the callers.”
The Department said if a person is in any doubt, they should take the caller’s name and phone the Department’s helpline number 1890 800 024 (between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday).
Similarly, people who are managing social welfare applications online are reminded to ensure that they are using official Departmental websites.
The Department emphasised that they never request bank account or other financial institution account details from their customers by phone or SMS.
A spokesperson for An Garda Siochana reiterated the need for caution in relation to cold calls.
The spokesperson said that calls had been reported from an 022 number.
A report had been received as recently as today from a man in Rochestown who received one of these calls.
“Gardaí are aware of a recent scam where members of the public have been receiving phone calls and texts from persons fraudulently advising they are a named official of the Department of Social Protection and being advised their PPS number has been compromised," gardaí said.
The gardaí advised people to be wary of such calls and offered a number of tips:
• Do not engage with the caller or return the call
• Never share personal information data with such callers or with people who make contact by text
The Gardaí also asked people to note of the number and report the matter to their local Garda Station.