Over €15m lost by victims as fraud increases during the pandemic

Phone calls were the most common medium for scammers to use, with 72 per cent of people contacted by phone.
Over €15m lost by victims as fraud increases during the pandemic

New figures show there was an 80 per cent increase in the number of scams during the pandemic with over half of fraudsters pretending to be from a government department or agency.

As reported in The Irish Examiner, new figures released by the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) show a 50 per cent increase in the amount of money being lost to fraudsters.

A total of €15.6 million has been lost by victims of scams with the average loss being €5,300.

Scammers were found to use phone calls, emails and texts to contact people.

Almost 70 per cent of consumers had been targeted by some form of impersonation scam with over half of scams pretending to be a Government department or agency such as Revenue or An Garda Síochána.

Other impersonations were also popular, as one in five scammers pretended to be from a delivery company while over a third claimed to be from a bank

Fraudulent phone calls

According to the BPFI, phone calls were the most common medium for scammers to use, with 72 per cent of people contacted by phone.

A survey released by the EU earlier this month revealed that Irish people are the second most likely citizens of the member states to be victims of fraudulent phone calls.

Just six per cent said they had clicked on a link in an email, three per cent provided personal or account information, and two per cent provided bank or credit card details.

The vast majority (70 per cent) said they did nothing when contacted by a fraudster.

The BPFI have encouraged people to protect themselves against fraud by being wary when returning calls to unknown numbers or clicking on links from unexpected emails.

They have also said never give away security details such as PINs or passwords to anyone.

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