Gardaí warn public of online scam targeting vulnerable people
Victims were tricked into paying €182 in "processing costs".
Gardaí are warning the public to be wary of an online loan scam targeting vulnerable people.
Sergeant John Kelly detailed the scam while speaking to Patricia Messinger on C103's Cork Today Show.
"Obviously, every community, you have your local credit union, and credit unions are well used to dealing with back to school loans and things like that," Kelly said.
"But please, stay away from applying online, adverts coming up on Facebook for those payday loans and things like that.
"There was one case down in Naul where somebody applied online for a loan for which they had to pay something like €182 up front, paid the money, and obviously no loan afterwards."
"So the scammers are out there looking for that [opportunity] as well."
Sergeant Kelly said that people should be wary of the excuses that scammers provide when asking for money upfront.
"Oh there's a cost with getting the loan and all, but if you have an upfront [cost], steer away from it straight away.
"And obviously, make sure that if you have been Googling something, you could have those ads coming up then on Facebook afterwards.
"So be very, very careful where you trade with when looking for a loan online."
Scams and frauds have increased exponentially since last year, with a whopping 370% increase in scam calls in 2021.
Earlier this month, Gardaí warned the public of a "Hi Mum" scam, which tricked them into sending money to who they thought was their children.
"They thought it was their son or daughter that was contacting them, that they needed cash put into an account and gave an account number," Sergeant Kelly said.
"There was a couple of grand paid over.
"It's not the first time that we've seen it."
The Garda encouraged the public to stay vigilant and to share the information of the scam among friend groups and peers.