Limerick Gardaí warn of child abuse images extortion email

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Limerick Garda Crime Prevention Officer Sgt Ber Leetch

LIMERICK Gardaí have confirmed that email informing a woman that she was under investigation for viewing material of sexual offences against children is an extortion scam.

Crime Prevention Officer Sgt Ber Leetch said it is the second such warning in as many weeks with the latest incident involving a woman in her 60s who lives in the Dooradoyle area

“She received an e-mail which was set up to look like it came from An Garda Siochana. There was a link attached and when she opened it she saw that it was a letter which stated she had viewed images of child pornography and that a Garda investigation was underway,” Sgt Leetch explained.

“Whoever sent this email was hoping to get a reaction from the lady which Gardai believed would lead to them asking for money.

“Instead, she contacted her local Garda station and was assured  that the email was not from An Garda Siochana. She was also advised to be careful of opening links on an email from an unknown source.

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“Most people would open an email if it looked like it was from An Garda Siochana but the scammers know this, and it shows how clever they can be, so people must be extra vigilant when online,” Sgt Leetch warned.

Last week, a politician in the West of Ireland received a letter in the post which stated they were suspected of engaging in sexual offences against children, which Sgt Leetch said was also a scam.

“I frequently give crime prevention advice on scams by phone, email and text but it’s important to remember that letters by post are also used. Report any scam to Gardaí as it gives me the opportunity to caution others,” she added.