An increased information campaign is needed to crack down on fraudulent calls and text and prevent vulnerable people from being scammed, a Dublin Mid-West TD has said.
Deputy Emer Higgins raised the issue of scam calls and texts in the Dáil with Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, and called on the Government to act on the issue.
Deputy Higgins said, “I am very aware of the increased number of fraudulent calls, text messages and emails which members of the public have been receiving and it’s clear that local people are being inundated. “October is European Cyber Security Month and I’m delighted that the Department of Justice and An Garda Síochána will be launching a number of initiatives in the coming weeks to support this. “There is close cooperation across the whole of Government on this issue but it is vital however, that companies and individuals in Dublin Mid-West report any incidents of fraud to their local Gardaí,” said Deputy Higgins.
“The latest stats from the CSO tell us that there has been a 40 per cent surge in fraud cases in the last year,” said Deputy Higgins. “And I know many of my constituents are reporting being inundated with these messages to the point where they are now sceptical of every call and text they receive. “These messages and calls are purporting to be from reputable bodies within Irish society like: The Department of Social Protection, The Garda Síochána, The HSE, An Post and others and besides being terribly annoying, they are a huge threat to the vulnerable members of our society.
“Those who are less tech savvy and who might fall victim to giving away important personal or financial information,” continued Deputy Higgins. “Work is ongoing in An Garda Síochána to tackle this issue which includes issuing advisory notices to members of the public warning against this criminal tactic and advising how to proceed should they be targeted. “I really welcome that the Gardaí are focusing on this issue and I would welcome an advanced information campaign to ensure all members of society are aware of the dangers of these scam calls and texts and how not to fall victim to these scammers,” concluded Deputy Higgins.