Electric Ireland warns customers to be aware of email scam
One of the country's main power suppliers has warned of a widespread email scam targeting customers.
Fraudsters are emailing existing and former Electric Ireland customers claiming they are owed a refund.
A number of people took to social media describing the scam as "professional", "almost credible" and "very convincing".
Gardai have launched an investigation into the bogus scheme in which customers are asked to click onto a webpage to supply bank details and a scanned copy of their passport to claim the purported refund.
"This email was not sent by Electric Ireland and we are advising those who received this email not to click on the link or reply to the email," said a spokesman for the utility.
"We would urge any customer who may have completed the form to contact their debit card company or bank immediately using the phone number listed on the back of their debit card.
"We would also advise such customers to immediately change their password on their online billing account."
Electric Ireland said the personal details of customers on its database are secure and have not been compromised.
"Our IT department are investigating and we have reported the matter to the Gardai," it added.
In a statement, the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation warned people not to respond to the emails.
"The Bureau are receiving reports daily regarding the theft of money from customers personal bank accounts," a Garda spokesman said.
"Criminal organisations are sending these emails purporting to be from a bank requesting customers to login with all their details including passwords, security codes and mobile numbers.
"To remind people once again - banks and other financial institutions do not and will not send emails asking you to divulge your security passwords or codes."