Gardaí warn of online fraudsters trying to exploit spread of coronavirus for profit
Incidents of fraud are expected to rise as the coronavirus continues to spread in Ireland and around the world.
An Garda Síochána have warned the public to be wary of online fraudsters trying to exploit the spread of the coronavirus to facilitate various types of fraud and cyber-crime online.
In a post on the Facebook page for the southern region – covering Cork, Limerick and Kerry – An Garda Síochána warned of fraudsters trying to con members of the public into buying protective face masks amid the continued spread of Covid-19.
Gardaí also warned of the presence of coronavirus-themed phishing emails and of fraudulent emails purporting to be from organisations affiliated with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claiming to be able to provide recipients with a list of people infected with the coronavirus in their area.
In the latter case, victims of the fraudulent emails are asked to click on a link which leads to a malicious website or to make a payment in Bitcoin.
Warning the public of the need to be aware of online fraudsters attempting to exploit the spread of the coronavirus, Sgt. James O'Donovan, the Crime Prevention Officer for the Cork West Division, urged the public to be very careful when taking calls from unknown numbers or replying to unknown emails and not to click on any links in emails if unsure of their origins.