Government Department warn Westmeath people about phone scam

The Department of Social Protection has issued a warning to Westmeath people about a sophisticated scam which they have become aware of where members of the public receive calls on their mobile phones purporting to be from a named official of the department.

The person is then informed that their PPS number is compromised and they are asked to provide or verify their name, PPS number and in some cases, bank account details.

A statement outlined: "This is a sophisticated scam.

"We urge our customers not to engage with these callers, not to return calls to these numbers and not to share any personal information with the callers.

"If a person is in any doubt, they should take the caller’s name and phone the Department’s helpline number 1890 800 024 (between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday).

"Similarly, people who are managing social welfare applications online are reminded to ensure that they are using official Departmental websites.

"The department wishes to make it absolutely clear that we NEVER request Bank account or other Financial institution account details from our customers by phone or SMS."

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