Public warned of elaborate bank card scam after undercover Garda sting 2 weeks ago

Public warned of elaborate bank card scam after undercover Garda sting

Be on your guard.

Another day, another pesky scam doing the rounds.

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Gardaí are warning the public about a fraud that saw at least one women tricked into handing over her bank cards. The woman, a native of Macroom in Cork, missed a phone call from a number that appeared to be the same as her bank's card department.

As it turns out, the fraudsters in question had managed to replicate the phone number. On a second attempt, the woman answered and was told that the bank cards in her possession were compromised. She was then told to place her bank cards into an envelope for collection by a courier.

During this exchange, the woman's son overheard the conversation. Suspicious, he opted to contact the local Garda Station. A taxi driver subsequently collected the envelope, whereupon he transported them, via plain-clothes Garda escort, to a man outside of the bank branch in Midleton.

In time, Gardaí approached the individual outside the bank, discovering that he was in possession of several bank cards.

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Speaking on C103's Cork Today show on Thursday, Sergeant John Kelly of Fermoy Garda Station urged the public to be aware that a bank will never text or call an individual and ask them to hand over their bank cards.

"They were creating fear that her accounts were being accessed remotely," Kelly explained.

"The caller asked the injured party if she wanted to make an appointment at the bank and he'd arrange the appointment but he'd cancel her cards straight away, freeze her account to stop any further transactions, and then informed her that their courier was actually in the locality.

"The courier turned out to be a taxi driver, who is innocent – he got a fare, [was told to] collect the package, an envelope, so the Gardaí put an operation in place and accompanied the taxi driver."

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Sergeant Kelly confirmed that the individual in Midleton has been arrested and charged, and has appeared before the court as part of an ongoing investigation. "It was quite an elaborate scam," Kelly noted.