Cryptocurrency scam conning Irish consumers out of up to €50k | #socialmedia

Irish consumers are being conned out of as much as €50,000 by new cryptocurrency scams.

FraudSMART is warning scammers are creating bogus companies and promising people massive returns on investments.

It says the recent hype around cryptocurrency has resulted in a sharp rise in these “get rich quick” scams and is launching a new awareness campaign to highlight the issue.

Brian Hayes from the Banking and Payments Federation said fraudsters are taking advantage of the hype around digital currencies.

He said in most cases things start with an unexpected phone call, email or social media message promising a great return on your investment.

“They try to bring you to a bogus site which is actually not an investment firm but a firm that is there only to scam you.

“If people are unexpectedly calling you or making contact with you, that is a sure sign that they are after your money and it’s important to be aware of that,” he said.

It is not just older people who are losing money due to these scams, younger people are also being targeted.

“We are seeing applications for lending to customers which can then translate into investing in these scams. It is really important that people are aware that this scam is doing the rounds at the moment,” said Mr Hayes.

Picture: Larry Cummins

Separately, Gardaí in Carbury and Portarlington are investigating two incidents where a man called to two homes and attempted to steal money.

In one of the incidents, both of which occurred on May 18, the man was successful in convincing the injured party to part with a sum of cash by saying the money was counterfeit.

One incident in North Kildare occurred at around 11.39am and one in Laois was at approximately 1pm. 

Gardaí would like to speak to any persons who were in either location at the time, particularly the Derrinturn/Carbury between 11am and 11.30am and the Emo/Portarlington Rd area between 12.30pm and 1pm.

Gardaí are warning people to be wary of any strangers calling to the home. Some may be offering services such as power washing, painting or selling goods while some may say things such as: “There’s been an accident, can I call an ambulance?”, or “I’m from the council, there’s a burst main, I need to turn off your supply”.

People are advised not to engage with such callers and not to open the door to anyone before you have checked who it is and what they want.

Gardaí are asking people to pass on the message to vulnerable people and those who live alone that may be susceptible to engaging with strangers.

Additional tips from Gardaí include:

  • Check identification, where appropriate.
  • Do not leave strangers unattended at your doorstep.
  • Ensure your back door is locked when you answer a call at the front door.
  • Keep gates to yards closed.

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