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Fermoy Gardaí got a report this morning from a person who had been contacted by a male caller calling from a French phone number.

The caller informed his intended victim that they had won €50,000 in a lottery and was looking for bank details to transfer the money. Wisely, no details were given and hanging up is the best response. If it seems too good to be true…

If you receive a call from an unrecognised number do not feel obliged to answer. Some of these calls come from premium rate numbers and you’ll end up paying a small fortune. Often you’ll notice a missed call, made late at night deliberately while you’re probably asleep, from a number that looks like an Irish landline or mobile. Ignore and block.

The Revenue are not in the habit of calling us to give a rebate, so don’t react to callers looking for bank details urgently. They’ll put pressure on victims to take urgent action, causing a bit of panic.

If you’re unsure, take note of the number and do a web search or check the company/agency website. If you have vulnerable family and friends, help them stay ahead of scam artists by encouraging them to be cautious.

Remember, your personal information is your property so be careful who you share it with.

Easiest of all? Just hang up. Don’t engage, don’t try to waste their time (they’ve got all day).

Nobody is too smart to get caught out, so be alert and report suspicious activity.

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