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06 Jul 2022

Crime evolved during the pandemic, Laois meeting told

Donegal  victims of cyber related crime asked to report it to the gardaí

Criminals adapted and evolved their techniques during the pandemic, the most senior policeman in Laois said. 

Chief Superintendent John Scanlan said: “The landscape of crime changed during the pandemic. We are all getting text messages telling us that we have a PTSB account and you know, there has been an unusual transaction and follow the link.”

He told a meeting of the Laois Joint Policing committee that: “ I’d love to find my account in PTSB, I don’t have one and I am reliably informed in a text message that I do have one and if I follow the link I will be grand so, that type of fraud is out there.”

He said there are other online crimes as well. “Take over of accounts are out there, they are a feature of an evolving society and how we do business,” he explained.  

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He was asked by Cllr John King whether abusing someone on social media was a crime or not. 

Addressing his comments to Minister of State Sean Fleming and Deputy Brian Stanely, Chief Supt Scanlan said: “Social media and threats on social media, whether it is a criminal offence or not, I will have to bow to the wisdom of the Oireachtas members in the room that they may move forward legislation.”

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