A NEW email scam, purporting to be from Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, is being delivered as Gaeilge alerting the receiver that they have been targeted for watching child pornography online.
The sinister email warns the recipient that there will be big fines and a prison sentence attached to the crime and unless the target reverts to the sender within 72 hours, a court appearance and prosecution will ensue.
The email outlines various dates over a number of years on which the victim is alleged to have viewed child porn.
Warnings of fines in excess of €600,000 and prison sentences of five years are included in the email.
“This has been sent in Irish to elicit a response,” Limerick Crime Prevention Officer at Henry Street Garda Station, Sergeant Ber Leetch, told the Limerick Post.
“There is an English version of the same thing going around but what they are hoping is that people will read the email, maybe not fully understand it and respond to find out what it’s about. It’s a phishing exercise.”
Sgt Leetch said that, so far, she is not aware of any person who has responded to such an email “but presumably they will demand bank details to extract a ‘fine’ and then they have access to your account”.
She added that people may respond to the email because they don’t understand it but can see that it claims to be from no less a person than the Garda Commissioner.
People who are innocent of any wrongdoing may respond because they fear someone in their household has been guilty of accessing such sights without their knowledge, Sgt Leetch said.
The Crime Prevention Officer assured that a Garda summons will always be issued by post or, in the event of such a serious investigation, people who are involved would receive a visit from the Gardaí.