A B&B owner in Cork has expressed concerns over scam calls that are affecting business.
Gardaí recently warned people to be wary of phone fraud following reports of automated scam calls pertaining to be An Garda Siochána.
The advice followed incidents and garda warnings for the Cork area where people were pretending to be from An Garda Síochána, Social Welfare, the Attorney General’s Office, banks, delivery companies and other businesses.
The recipient is called and advised via a recorded message that An Garda Síochána is investigating them in relation to suspicious activity linked to their PPS number.
In order to rectify the situation, the recipient is then advised to press a number to speak to someone further in relation to the matter.
Owner of Cottage Heights B&B in Castletownbere, Mary Barry, said that such calls are affecting business as “nobody is answering a mobile anymore”.
“In the morning I ring to confirm bookings for the evening and nobody answers. People are just too frightened to answer,” she said.
She said she has also been receiving phonecalls where there is nobody at the other end of the phone and is afraid to ring back in case it is a scam call.
“There definitely will be people caught out by it. If people try to book rooms and at the same time I’m getting calls where there is nobody at the other end of the phone and I’m afraid to call back so then I don’t know is it a scam call or someone genuinely trying to get onto me so it could be affecting business,” she said.
She said that after being closed since last September, that the last thing the business needs is to be affected by such calls.
“It’s bad enough now with the restaurants closed, which is already really affecting the B&Bs, we don’t need this as well,” she said.
Garda advice to people receiving such calls is to not engage with the caller, not return the call, not follow the automated instructions, never disclose personal or financial information, and to hang up and block the number if possible.