INCIDENTS of phishing, vishing, and smishing fraud in Cork city have more than doubled in the first five months of this year, while incidents of rape, sexual assault, and drug offences have also increased.
That is according to Garda figures for the period January to May, 2021.
The latest data, presented at the joint policing committee (JPC) meeting, showed 279 incidents of fraud in the Cork City Division in the first five months of this year.
In 2020, there were 369 incidents of fraud in the division and 342 in 2019.
This incorporated account take-over fraud, phishing/vishing/smishing fraud, and shopping or online auction fraud.
Incidents of phishing, vishing, and smishing fraud have increased substantially in 2021.
Phishing refers to the use of emails, vishing to a fraudster contacting a person by phone, and smishing to the use of text messages to extract financial data from a user to induce them to reveal personal information.
Last year, there were a total of 26 incidents of the three categories and in 2019 there were 20.
From January to May, 2021, there have already been 54 incidents.
In Cork city, there have also been 20 incidents of accommodation fraud, between January 1 and June 1, 2021, and a loss of €24,154.
However, shopping and online auction fraud have decreased this year, with 18 incidents, compared to 42 in 2020.
The most common areas used in the three different methods of fraud that have an online element relate to contact from banks and government departments, and charges for the release of packages or for deliveries.
Meanwhile, in the city, drug offences are up 63%, with the possession of drugs for personal use up 65% this year, with 655 incidents, and 163 incidents of possession for sale or supply, up 52% when compared to 2020.
According to the data, which was presented by Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin, rape and sexual assaults are also up, 11%, this year in the city.
In 2021, there have been 59 incidents of rape and sexual assault, with incidents of sexual assault increasing by 14% this year.