Online fraudsters making out like bandits during Covid-19 pandemic - Pa Daly TD
With the latest CSO and Garda figures showing a rise in fraud offences, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Equality, Integration and Law Reform Pa Daly TD has urged the government to take action.
"It is clear that fraud, especially online fraud, represents a serious opportunity for criminals.
"There has been a 15% increase in fraud offences for the first three months of 2020 compared to last year. Online shopping and payments are a huge growth area, so it has become second nature for many to share their payment details online.
"These were developments that clearly pre-dated Covid-19 restrictions and within other categories of crime for that period, we have seen numbers stay steady or even decline. However, the pandemic will continue to incentivise criminals to exploit vulnerable people as other avenues for their activities generate less return.
"The recent 'smishing' affair where Bank of Ireland customers lost significant sums of money is a case in point and we cannot afford to be one step behind these criminal networks.
"The Programme for Government commits to 'rapidly' implementing the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing, which includes resourcing the National Cyber Crime Bureau. Every Euro not invested now in this area will cost the State and consumers at least that amount in the very near future. It is time for the government to get serious about tackling online fraud."