A GARDA investigation is under way after hundreds of Bank of Ireland (BoI) customers had their accounts skimmed in two branches over the weekend.
Customers in two BoI branches in Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny, and in Borris, Co Carlow, had their current accounts accessed from the United States over a three-day period in a scamming operation which yielded thousands of euros for fraudsters.
It is understood that a small camera was placed at the side of the ATM and electronic device slipped over where the card was placed into the machine. The data was then downloaded by computer and sold on to fraudsters in countries which do not use pin and chip cards – one country being the US where the fraudulent activity was noticed.
BoI branches in Roscommon and Mayo are also thought to have been hit in the past several weeks by the same scam.
Shocked husband and wife Sean and Margaret Hennessy from Knockbarron, Borris, both had their current accounts accessed over the weekend with almost €2,500 taken.
“We didn’t know anything was wrong until Margaret went to use her Laser card over the weekend and it wouldn’t work. The account became disabled and we didn’t know why,” said Mr Hennessy.
“We got a bit of a land when we called in to the branch in Graiguenamanagh and told that €2,100 had been taken from Margaret’s account and that €340 had been taken from mine. Our accounts are to be reimbursed over the next couple of days.
“You really don’t think it could happen to you but when it does it’s a bit of a shock. There are a lot of very worried people here knowing that their accounts have been accessed.”
Mr Hennessy said the bank told them that they would be reimbursed within 48 hours.
Word of the scam started to spread late on Sunday evening, which resulted in scores of worried customers queueing up outside the Graiguenamanagh branch on Monday and yesterday.
BoI customers in Borris were hit by the same scam over Valentine’s weekend.
Numerous customers had more than €2,000 taken from their accounts while others had several hundred euro taken out in small amounts over several days.