Gardai are asking the public to be vigilant as a new sex crime investigation scam has emerged.
The scam impersonates An Garda Siochana and it may trick victims into handing over thousands of euro. It involves scammers sending an email claiming that the recipient is accused of offences in relation to investigations into child pornography, paedophilia, cyber pornography, or some similar “judicial” claim.
The fake email impersonates Gardai and it goes on to say that the recipient should “present their version of the facts unconditionally within 48-hours” by emailing back. However, this is in fact a scam and Gardai have warned that they will never make contact with a person this way.
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In a statement, An Garda Siochana said: “Gardaí are aware of an ongoing e-mail based scam/ fraud where an individual receives correspondence claiming to be from An Garda Síochána. This correspondence states that the individual has been accused of offences in relation to investigations into child pornography – paedophilia – cyber pornography – or some similar ‘judicial’ claim.
“Gardaí are advising the public that An Garda Síochána does not and will not make contact with a person under investigation in this way. We would urge anybody who has received similar correspondence and has any concern about it to contact their local Garda Station for advice.
“An Garda Síochána also appeals to any person who may have inadvertently or otherwise engaged with this scam, or any similar scam, and subsequently been a victim of this type of fraud to report it to their local Garda Station.”
Gardai have released the following fraud prevention advice:
- Don’t respond to any unsolicited email seeking personal, financial or security advice.
- Never click on a link or attachment in an unsolicited email.
- If you believe the email is from a genuine source, verify this independently. Independently means independent of the email sender.
- Independently verify any requests for information and never use the contact details supplied to you by the caller or texter. Independent means independent of the caller or texter.
- Further fraud prevention advice can be found here: www.garda.ie
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