After last weeks blog on phone scams, I received a lot of feedback from people saying that they have received phone calls from fraudsters claiming to represent various government departments. In particular, the department of social welfare and the department of justice, these scammers may say that there is an arrest warrant out in your name or that you are under investigation from a government department for some alleged crime. This of course, is not the case, basically if you buy into the story they will try and extract as much personal information about you as possible, for example, they tell you there is an arrest warrant for you but they can sort it out over the phone if you are willing to do so. They tell you they need your name, address, PPS number and date of birth to confirm your identity (they now have enough information on you to conduct financial transactions on your behalf).
Please do not give out any personal information unless you are confident of the receiver’s credentials. I always suggest that if you receive and unexpected phone call from any individual or department, end the call, go the find the number listed in the phone book or on the official site on the internet and ring them back, you now have a reasonable expectation to be talking to the actual department and can confirm the previous call (Please note, due to phone number hi-jacks this is not 100% the case either). The best policy if you receive a phone call like this is to attend your local social welfare department and explain the phone call you received and ask them to verify if there is a problem with your account. This is an old fashioned but durable solution.
We are living in an age of fast moving scams and con tricks particularly on the mobile phones and computers, so always pause before you give out any information and ask yourself “am I 100% sure I know who is receiving this information?”
You can find more information about scam calls on comreg.ie at