Thursday, 25 February 2020

EASY money

There was an interesting case in today's Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where a guy showed how easy it can be to steal money from a bank. The only drawback for Limerick man, Pat Sheedy (40), of Cliona Park, Moyross, was that he got caught. In 2007 he set up a bank account in Dublin to enable the fictitious transfer of cash from his non-existent company in the UK and then used an overdraft to gamble away over €10,000 of the bank's money. He used his real passport and a reference from his real employer to set up the sting. Sheedy, who has 25 previous convictions is now awaiting sentence.

Tuesday, 23 February 2020

BOGUS smokes

Irish Revenue today seized a big consignment of smuggled cigarettes which they 'conservatively' estimate to amount to 28 million cigarettes. While the Regal brand seized are the real thing, part of the cargo includes counterfeit Superkings. Read about it here on RTE. A billion cigarettes are smuggled into Ireland every year of which the tobacco industry estimate a third of which are counterfeit cigarettes rolled and packaged in black market factories. Read the previous posts on Ireland's black market tobacco trade here.

Friday, 19 February 2020

BOILER rooms

Financial graduates and junior bankers looking for work have been warned about signing up to work for bogus brokerages. Better known as 'boiler-rooms' the scam involves talking people into buying worthless stock. Sometimes the shares don't even exist or are propped up by the fraudsters trading shares with eachother in a practice known as 'pump and dump.' The Serious Fraud Office in London warned graduates that the moment they suspect their employers are crooks they have to report it to the authorities. If they ignore their suspicions and continue working then they become part of the scam. Sales people can earn thousands of euros for one successful deal so the temptation is there. The con-artists will also be looking to recruit website specialists and IT experts to support their operations. The advice is to make sure the recruiting company is legitimate before signing up. Check out my previous post on Paul Robert Gunter.

Wednesday, 17 February 2020

419 scams

The 419ers (so-called after the section of the Nigerian constitution outlawing fraud) are a democratic bunch when it comes to scamming victims. Last week in the UK, it emerged during a court case how an eye-surgeon was blind-sided by a 419er. Chinaenye Mokelu (44) sent a spam email to the UK seeking help to transfer his $300 million fortune to Britain. Needless to say, the cash didn't exist and Mokelu duped a consultant doctor into sending him st£352,000. He turned up in London at one point to show his hapless victim a suitcase of fake cash. Mokelu got five-years at Basildon Crown Court for his crimes. Read the court report here.

Tuesday, 16 February 2020


Pfizer have done their best to scare the hell out of everyone with a press release on counterfeit drugs today, read it here. In fairness counterfeit drugs are a huge problem, especially in the developing world. Arguably, the big pharmaceutical companies could do a lot more by allowing generic versions be sold cheaper to poorer communities. In the latest Pfizer release the demand for prescription 'lifestyle' drugs, such as Viagra, has helped to fuel the counterfeit trade. Presumably this is the same demand they helped to create. In the past Ireland has had consignments of fake toothpaste and condoms ending up on the market. Anyway, don't buy drugs off the internet, 90 per cent of which are fake, according to the World Health Organisation. Check out Pfizer's ad on counterfeit drugs here and read my previous posts on counterfeit medicine.

Friday, 12 February 2020

CARD attack attacked

The banking industry has hit back quickly against claims that chip and PIN cards are vulnerable to fraud. Click here for the Press Association story on the issue.

CARD attack

The banking industry's confidence about chip and PIN cards looks set to take a battering. It has been demonstrated by researchers at the University of Cambridge how a stolen card can be used in retail outlets and online. The problem for customers is that it comes up as a PIN verified transaction and banks are refusing to refund customers for what appears to have been a legitimate transaction. The cards can't be used by criminals at an ATM or once it has been reported stolen and cancelled. Read more about it here.

Saturday, 6 February 2020

Johnny Bottles

This goes some way to explaining how the Rathkeale travellers can afford €185,000 cars. Johnny 'Bottles' Sheridan heads up up just one of about 20 crews doing tarmacadam scams all over Europe. The sales pitch starts with: "..we are working on a big motorway project and have some tarmacadam left over that's going to be dumped, but we can use it to surface your driveway for free..."

Read the full story in the Sunday World. If you have any problems playing the clip, it is also available on the Sunday World home page.

Thursday, 4 February 2020

CARBON crooks

Not only are the carousel VAT fraudsters targeting carbon emission credits - so are computer hackers. Emission credits have been stolen and sold to companies who thought it was a legitimate transaction. Read the story here. The latest attack on the emissions-trading market comes after it emerged that up to 90 per cent of the trading could actually be fraudulent. See the Green Fraud post from 5 January.