Consumer information - Scams

What is a scam?

A scam is a scheme designed to con you out of your money or your personal details such as your bank account details, PIN numbers or internet banking login details. It is easy to fall victim to a scam in the following ways:

  • over the phone
  • by email, text or letter
  • on a false copy of a real website
  • through social networking sites
  • at your front door or
  • on the street.

Scams can take many forms - fake lotteries, pyramid schemes, and other "get rich quick" deals, as well as phishing. The best way to protect yourself is to be aware of the different types of scams so that you can easily spot them.

Always be wary of tempting offers and always use your common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is! And if you do fall for a scam, don’t be embarrassed – act on it immediately.

What should you do if you have been caught out by a scam?

If you think you have been the victim of a scam or fraud and you have given someone your bank account or credit card information, inform your bank or credit card company immediately so they can tell you what action they need to take. This might include putting a stop to your account, cancelling your credit or debit card or stopping a transaction from going through your account.

You should also contact the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations on (01) 6663777 or contact your local Garda station immediately.

Contact us and tell us about any scams you, your friends, families or colleagues have experienced. We are working to combat scams in Ireland and building awareness about scams is the best way to put a stop to them.

If you were scammed somewhere else in Europe, tell the European Consumer Centre Ireland. You can also sign up to the European Consumer Centre’s monthly e-newsletter which warns Irish consumers about scams in Europe

And finally, you should let your friends and family know so they won’t get caught out.

Back to top