AN elderly person in Shannon was tricked into parting with €3,000 to solve a non-existent problem on their computer. On Tuesday, April 10, the individual, in their late 70s, received a phone call from an unknown person, who told them that their computer had been hacked and corrupted.
The caller then told them the situation could be rectified, if they provided iTunes vouchers to the value of €3,000. At this stage, the caller went and purchased six iTunes vouchers to the value of €500 each and passed on the codes to the caller.
Also, on April 7 in the Sixmilebridge area, an elderly person was using a computer in their home when it crashed. A message appeared on the screen, asking them to call a number in the USA. When they did so, they were told that the problem could be fixed if credit card details were provided. These details were then provided and they were subsequently used fraudulently.
Thankfully, in this case, the injured party contacted their bank in time for the transaction to be cancelled.
On Wednesday morning, another person contacted Shannon gardaí to say they had received a phone call from a person purporting to be from Microsoft, offering to fix a computer virus for an amount of money. While the call had come from a local number, the caller had a foreign accent. In this case, the person receiving the call saw through the scam and contacted the gardaí.
Given the number of such incidents in recent times, the gardaí are urging members of the public, particularly older people, not to take any unsolicited phone calls offering computer repairs at face value. They are also urging the public to be very careful about engaging with any people who call to their doors, offering to do work on their homes.
By Owen Ryan