Scam artists conned Irish people out of more than €15 million in the year to the end of July with fraudulent activity jumping by almost 80 per cent as criminals sought to maximise their profits from the fear and uncertainty caused by Covid-19.
Victims were tricked out of an average of €5,300 by criminals with scams involving impersonation, romance and bogus investments amongst those routinely deployed against unsuspecting consumers.
According to research published on Thursday by the fraud arm of Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), 68 per cent of consumers were targeted by some form of impersonation scam.
In monetary terms, victims were conned out of €15.6 million, an increase of 51 per cent on the previous year.
The report noted a sharp rise in reports of fraudsters pretending to be from a legitimate organisation or business and seeking to get sensitive information or money from their victim.
All told, some 68 per cent of consumers reported being targeted by some form of impersonation scam in the 12 months…