Gardaí have issued an alert after a man lost hundreds of euro to a fake Facebook scammer.
The man was duped into buying online gift cards for a person who was pretending to be their friend on Facebook.
The scammer was using a friend’s real name and profile picture when they contacted their victim on messenger.
The ‘friend’ asked the man to buy Amazon gift cards and send the codes over messenger, after which they would pay them in cash.
The man went on to buy Apple iTunes vouchers for the sum of €400. He sent a photo of the codes on the cards to the person he thought was his friend. The fake profile was then swiftly deleted, leaving the man at a loss of €400.
Garda Grainne Doherty shared details of the case today to alert others of the scam.
Garda Doherty said: “This is not a new scam. Gift card scams often begin by pressuring victims into buying a gift card. Scammers trick their victims into revealing the card number and PIN. These scammers then immediately redeem the gift card. They gain your confidence by pretending to be somebody else such as a government employee, a family member, a romantic interest or a friend.
“This type of fraud is impossible to reverse. Fraudulent charges on credit cards can be cancelled but gift card charges can’t be.
“It’s like cash, once it’s given over it’s gone for good.”
Garda Doherty has urged people to stop and think if anyone is contacted to buy gift cards. Anyone who is unsure is advised to ask a trusted friend or family member, or contact gardaí.