Gardaí issue warning over recent scams

Gardaí in Clare have issued a warning to public in relation to a number of recent scams reported to them.

Crime Prevention Officer for Clare Sergeant Triona Brooks said: “Use of the internet for dating purposes has increased and so unfortunately the number of scams associated with it and amounts of money lost. We received a report from a male who was tricked into giving money via gift cards and Paypal to a lady that had befriended him on Instagram.”

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A romance scam is basically a scam employed by criminals which involves pretending to be romantically interested in a person with the aim of gaining their affection and trust with the perceived promise of a continued romantic involvement – the ultimate purpose of the scam is to encourage the victim to transfer funds to accounts in the control of the criminal under false pretences.

What are the warning signs to look out for?

They want to communicate with you through instant messaging and texts, rather than through the dating website or chat room where you met.

They ask a lot of questions about you but don’t tell much about themselves.

They quickly start calling you by a pet name or use endearing terms.

They don’t answer basic questions about where they live and work.

Their profile picture is too perfect.

They start asking you to send money using a number of different scenarios.

They arrange to visit you but need money to pay travel costs.


Trust your instincts – if you think something feels wrong it probably is. Don’t post personal information such as phone numbers on dating sites.

Use authentic dating websites.

Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know and trust.

Wait until you feel comfortable with an individual before revealing your phone number, place of work or address.

Always be mindful of what you post on the internet. It’s there for everybody to see and not just your friends. Beware if there are requests for inappropriate photos. These could be used for the purposes of blackmail at a later stage.

Report unusual or abusive behaviour on websites and if you are the victim of such a scam please don’t be embarrassed to report it.

Meanwhile, Gardaí also received a report from a lady during the week that she had the following text message sent to her phone.

The text read:“Due to unusual activities, your card has been placed on hold. Please visit and follow the on-screen instructions to re-activate.“

Sgt Brooks said: “The same lady also got another text saying that she needed to click on a link to pay a fee before a parcel was delivered. We want to remind people don’t click on any links sent to you and do not enter your account details.”



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