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Ennis victim of ‘advance fee’ scam

AN Ennis woman paid out more than €1,600 to scammers in the latest incident of ‘advance fee fraud’ to be reported to gardaí in the county.
Fraudsters are using this scam to target vulnerable people and those who have difficulty getting loans from established financial institutions, Clare Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Triona Brooks explains. She is urging Clare people to never apply for a loan from an entity that is not authorised by the Central Bank.
Sergeant Brooks confirmed that gardaí received a report of this fraud after a woman in Ennis applied for a loan on-line from a site purporting to be a legitimate loan site.
“She was informed that the loan had been granted and asked to pay €699 to guarantee the loan which she paid into a Revolut account. A short time later she received a call from a person looking for a further deposit to pay for administration fees and she then paid €950 into the same Revolut account.
“She became suspicious and contacted her bank who informed him that this was a scam.”
Sergeant Brooks continues, “A number of websites offering un-secured loans are targeting vulnerable persons and persons who have had difficulty obtaining loans from established financial institutions in this type of fraud.”
Outlining how the scam works, she explains, “The victim applies for a loan through a website that offers loans which it is claimed will be processed quickly.
“The victim will receive a call or communication within a very short time, often minutes, informing them that their loan application has been approved and providing details of the amount of the loan and the monthly repayment
“The victim will then be asked to send an amount of money to the lender in advance of the loan amount being issued, with different reasons given for this.”
Sergeant Brooks advises, “Never apply for a loan from an entity that is not authorised by the Central Bank.
“Always check the official Central Bank website to see if the firm is authorised. The register of authorised firms can be accessed at http://registers.centralbank.ie/”

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