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Hundreds ‘scammed’ from local man’s account

WITH one third of Irish people admitting they have lost money to scammers, one local man who was the victim of such fraud tells how his bank account was scammed for €1,200 with another €800 about to be taken.

Kevin Monaghan from Lifford told the Chronicle how he knew by looking at his account online that money was missing.

“I would have a fair idea of what should be in the account and when I checked I could see that €800 had been taken out in Manchester and then €400 in London. There was another €800 about to go out.

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“I went straight to my bank AIB in Ballybofey and they were very helpful. They put me on the phone to their fraud people and by looking at my account they knew my authority had been overridden. They stopped the €800 going out and I was refunded the rest of my money in 10 to 15 days,” Kevin said.

As vice president of Active Retirement Ireland Kevin wanted to tell people that what happened to him is nothing to be ashamed of.

“I know a number of people this has happened to and there is nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. If you cannot check your accounts online you can go to your bank or an ATM and get your balance there. If you need help don’t ask a stranger, ask someone you know and trust and don’t use open wifi for banking, use your home wifi. Some banks have post office facilities and you can check your account there,” Kevin said.

FraudSMART survey A recent survey from Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) revealed the average sum of money stolen in Ireland by fraudsters is €1,005, but the figure rises to €1,320 among older people aged 55+ and is almost six times the amount stolen from young adults aged 18-24, which totalled €228.

On average, a third of Irish people say they have lost money to a fraudster.

The survey came during Fraud Awareness Week when people were encouraged to ‘check, chat and challenge’ a loved one on the issue of financial fraud scams and identity theft.

Niamh Davenport, who leads the BPFI Fraudsmart programme, said, “Our Fraudsmart survey still shows reluctance among some older people to ask a family or friend for a second opinion if something looks suspicious. That’s what Fraud Awareness Week is all about – having the conversation.

“We all know someone who has been scammed, young or old, but it’s only by checking with each other that it becomes easier to spot the trends and tell-tale signs of fraudsters at work. It’s one thing to know the signs yourself, but it’s much more powerful to help those you love understand them too.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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