GARDAÍ in Limerick are advising parents to be wary of a new scam that has been reported in the county recently.
The scam sees people receiving a text purporting to be from their child saying that they have a new phone number and to contact them as soon as they see the message.
In recent weeks, at least two women in Limerick have been approached in this way. One of them, a mother of three, told Gardaí she was at home with all her children when she got the text so knew immediately she was being scammed.
Garda Sergeant Ber Leetch, Crime Prevention Officer at Henry Street Garda Station, said that once the parent engages with the message, they then get a message asking them for money.
“Usually if a parent engages, that is if they reply, the next message goes on to say that as the ‘child’s’ phone is broken they don’t have access to their bank account and need money.
“A bank account number is provided and I know that a number of parents have been scammed out of money in this way. These messages are ‘hooks’ which will work with some people and get them to engage with scammers,” she said.
Another woman who was approached by scammers rang her children after receiving the text and they all confirmed that none of them had sent that message.
Sgt Leetch said the best thing to do if you receive a message like this is to check in with your children and see if they contacted you.
“The way to prevent this scam is to ring your child’s phone to check that they are ok and then block the number.”