Online fraud is rising exponentially
Online fraud is happening throughout all strata of society as more and more people are running their lives online with online fraud ‘rising exponentially’ according to Chief Supt Padraig Dunne.
The senior garda made the comments at a recent meeting of the Joint Policing Committee which heard that incidents had increased from 94 in 2020 to 293 in 2021.
Detective Inspector Sean O’Meara told the committee that in 2021 there were 102 cases of ‘account takeover’ compared to just five in 2019. The inspector also said that the age profile of the victim of this type of crime is coming down and warned people to be ‘extra vigiliant’.
“Anytime you want to enter your bank account details you need to check at least three times. You need to get a phone number and check and need to be extra vigiliant,” he said adding that you should never click on a link in a text or an email without verifying the sender.
The lastest statistics also revealed that there were 94 cases of phishing (the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information such as passwords and bank account details) compared to six in 2019 before Covid and when there was a significant shift towards doing business online.
Chair of the JPC, Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick described the growth of this type of crime as ‘frightening’.
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