Limerick scam victim warning after losing €10,000

A COUNTY Limerick woman has told how she was cheated out of almost £10,000 in life savings when the perpetrators used a series of tricks to bleed her dry.

She details the sneaky, sneaky, and sneaky methods she used to steal her hard-earned life savings. The woman does not want to be named, but wants to warn others not to fall into the traps she has fallen into.

“I first saw an online loan ad on Facebook in January 2020. I have decided to apply for a car loan of 7,000 euros. I got approval and then an email saying I would get more credit if I gave them some money. So I gave them 300 euros,” she said.

Demands for more money kept coming. After a few months, she handed over 3,000 euros and “no trace of my loan on the way”.

“I had asked about it several times but had no response from them,” she said. As if that wasn’t bad enough, things took another ambiguous turn.

“I received a message on WhatsApp from a man claiming to be a lawyer. He said they found the man who took the money for the alleged loan from me. The ‘lawyer’ said if I paid him a fee of 300 euros he could get my money back, so I paid it.”

Then there was another twist in the story.

“A bank employee sent me a message asking for money so he could send me the lost money. It cost €400. I asked him why it was so expensive to transfer the money from his account to mine.

“He said the bank in his country does it that way. He wanted my passport photo, address, everything. I gave him everything and thought I would get my money back in a couple of weeks,” she said.

But all she got was another demand for money, this time supposedly from the customs office.

“It was about a package they received for me from France and it would cost €450 to send to Ireland. I became suspicious because of all the different people contacting me about my package. I was afraid that someone would come to my house if they had all my data.

“Then I got a message from a courier saying he had a parcel for me at a depot in Belfast but it would cost me money to get it to Limerick so I paid for it.”

At that time she paid almost 10,000 euros “only to find out that everything was fraud”.

“There were all these different people saying they gave me credit and no credit. I was worried about this and decided to contact the guards. They said it was all a scam and that I should contact the banks where I deposited the money via online banking. The money could not be traced as it was deposited in foreign bank accounts in Spain, UK and Portugal.

“I contacted my own bank’s fraud department but no luck getting my money back. I’ve learned never to click links on Facebook ad loans. Money doesn’t come easy. I lost my money instead of getting the money I was promised in a loan.”

She said she feels better after speaking out about how she got sucked into it and hopes others don’t make the same mistakes she did. Still, tears welled up in her eyes.

The perpetrators not only robbed her of money, but also of her sense of security.

“I’m still scared of someone calling my home because they have my address. I even feel pressured to move somewhere else for security reasons. I’ve also changed my bank accounts and phone number since it all happened to me.”

She says she is now “broke” and has no chance of getting her money back, but compensation for her will be if others don’t go through what she has.

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About Meredith Campagna

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