A story in the Sligo Weekender two weeks ago has saved a local business €70,000.
The front page story in our October 18 edition was in relation to a warning from Sligo-based Garda Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Jim Fox for people to be vigilant following an increase in email fraud in the area.
The story told how one local business man almost lost €25,000 in a scam.
It was one of a number of cases reported to gardai of attempts to extract money from people in Sligo via email.
This week Sergeant Fox related how the Weekender highlighting his warning had saved a local business a big loss.
“Last week I got a phone call from a secretary in the local business telling me that she had been doing a transaction online and because of what she had read in the Weekender had avoided been scammed.”
The firm were doing a transaction and €70,000 was going to be transferred.
“They got an email to say that the bank account that the money was to be sent had been changed but as a result of what she had read in the Weekender, the secretary checked the email address and realised that it had been changed.”
Srgt Fox said that thankfully the warning had been a “huge success”.
“But for the woman having read the warning in the Weekender the business would have been out €70,000”.
The Crime Prevention Officer re-iterated the warning to people to be careful.
“It looks like Sligo is being targetted at the moment. I also work in Leitrim and there have been no reports of any similar incident there”, he said.
Srgt Fox said that what the scammers are doing is hacking into people’s emails and monitoring them and if they see a financial transaction is going to take place they send an email which will appear similar to the person that the business is dealing with it but will be slightly different and there will be a change in where the money is to be sent to.
“People should ensure that their software and firewalls are up to date and if they are are to transfer money and they get an email telling them there is a change they should phone the person they are send ing the money to to ensure that it is correct,” he said.