People have been urged not to respond or engage with scam texts, phone calls or emails seeking personal information, following a recent rise in fraud cases.

The Minister for Justice said that no government department will ever contact members of the public seeking their PPSN numbers or bank details and the message for people receiving such messages is “ignore, ignore, ignore”.

Heather Humphreys was speaking at the launch of a new campaign to raise awareness of cyber crime.

The campaign, which will be run by the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau and the Department of Justice, will see gardaí engage with communities in a series of events across the country to provide information on how to protect yourself from these scams.

Data from the CSO crime statistics for this year show a 40% increase in fraud offences in the year to June 2021, compared to the previous year.

The increase mostly occurred in the first six months of this year and primarily relate to fraudulent attempts to obtain personal or banking information online or by phone.

Older people and businesses in particular are being targeted in the initial phase of the awareness campaign.

Minister Humphreys said that “all of us” have received these “strange phone calls and text messages” in recent months.

She said they can be sophisticated and it can be easy to be scammed out of significant amounts of money.

Minister Humphreys said the key message for everyone, but older people and businesses in particular, is “do not…

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