Scammers claiming to be from AIB having debit cards collected via courier; Cork Garda says people have lost thousands

Cork’s Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Brian McSweeney warned of a new scam sweeping Leeside that is seeing criminals, claiming to be employed by AIB, collect credit cards from households across Cork city
Scammers claiming to be from AIB having debit cards collected via courier; Cork Garda says people have lost thousands

Sergeant McSweeney described how the scam normally begins with a text, followed by a phone call and the collection of the victim’s credit card by a taxi or courier service.

A NUMBER of Corkonians have been scammed out of thousands of euro after surrendering their credit cards to strangers.

Cork’s Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Brian McSweeney warned of a new scam sweeping Leeside that is seeing criminals, claiming to be employed by AIB, collect credit cards from households across Cork city.

Reports that Cork taxi drivers are being exploited as unknowing accomplices to the crime has added an extra layer of concern for Gardaí.

Sergeant McSweeney described how the scam normally begins with a text, followed by a phone call and the collection of the victim’s credit card by a taxi or courier service.

He explained that outsourcing a taxi driver to collect the credit card means the con artist can protect their identity from the victim.

“It’s always a taxi or a courier service or a criminal pretending to be either,” Sgt McSweeney said. “When the real taxi driver arrives at the house and collects the card they have no idea that they are delivering it into the hands of a criminal.” The crime prevention officer explained that the thief has already carried out the groundwork before collecting the card by inviting victims to volunteer their banking information online or through phone calls.

He emphasised that no bank will ask for sensitive information over the phone.

“It’s important that people exercise caution and never give away their personal identification number.” 

The Garda also urged taxi drivers to be mindful of suspicious activity.

“If you are collecting a card from a house and handing it over to an unknown person outside a place like Penneys then you know there has to be some criminal activity.” 

AIB said it is aware of the scam and said it never asks its customers to give their card to a taxi driver or courier for collection and supposed delivery to AIB.

AIB STATEMENT

AIB issued a statement to The Echo in response to the issue.

“AIB is aware of a scam where customers have been asked to give their card to a taxi driver or courier for collection, and supposed delivery to AIB. AIB never asks customers to do that. Very sophisticated fraudsters target people by contacting them pretending to be AIB. We urge customers to be vigilant at all times, and never to click on a link, even one that appears in an AIB thread, and never to give their details or their cards to a third party. We urge customers to contact us as soon as possible if they feel they may be a victim of a scam.

“Where customers have been scammed, we will deal sympathetically with them on a case-by-case basis. To date, we have a strong record in protecting our customers from fraud. However, we must all remain vigilant.”

Gardaí are raising awareness of the scam, Sgt McSweeney added. “Our hope is that we can get this out there so as many people as possible are aware of the scam.”

“The people we are dealing with have all been women under 50. The most recent one, which happened this month, occurred when a lady was signing up to a local bin company.

Fraudsters claiming to be the legitimate company were able to access her details as she signed up for the service.

She later received a call from a bank that appeared unconnected. After believing that her details were compromised, she agreed to have her card collected and lost €7,300”.

Sadly, the injured party was not alone in her suffering. One Cork woman lost €6,500 after surrendering her card to a courier last May. This followed on from a previous incident in April, where a woman lost €12,150 to a similar scam.

“It leaves a legacy of embarrassment for the person who is affected”, Sgt McSweeney said. “They are left with a lot of remorse that they have somehow contributed to their own crime.”

If you suspect a scam contact gardaí at Anglesea Street on: (021) 452 2000, or your local Garda station.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130
EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more