Ireland scam warning over fraudsters targeting victims in advance fee fraud

By Aakanksha Surve

Fraudsters are targeting unsuspecting victims online as part of advance fee fraud.

Gardai have issued a warning as individuals and businesses have been swindled out of money by scammers offering "unsecured loans" online.

A spokesperson on the Meath Crime Prevention Facebook page said: "There are a number of websites offering un-secured loans which target the more vulnerable. This is sometimes very attractive because it offers loans which are processed quickly and without fuss."

The victim will receive a call or message saying their loan application has been approved with details of the amount of the loan and the monthly repayment.

They are then asked to send a small amount of money to the lender in advance of the loan amount being issued.

This request is disguised as an up-front fee or to pay for personal protection insurance on the loan amount.

The spokesperson continued: "Unfortunately, when this is done no loan monies are ever issued and the advance fee is lost."

Here is how you can protect yourself from this scam:

•Never apply for a loan from an entity that is not authorised by the Central Bank.

•Always check the official Central Bank website to see if the firm is authorised. The register of authorised firms can be accessed here.

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