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Question

105. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the INIS has or is investigating the way in which scammers got hold of the phone numbers of INIS applicants in view of reports (details supplied) of a telephone scam targeting persons that have made applications to the INIS; and if a data breach in the INIS has been found, if it has been reported to the Data Protection Commission. [16972/19]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that it is not aware of any data breach which could have resulted in the personal contact details of customers becoming publicly available.
The Department is occasionally alerted to possible cases of fraud by members of the public.  In such circumstances, a caution notice giving advice to customers will be displayed prominently on the home page of the INIS website. This has been carried out several times since 2013 for various issues, most recently in early April 2019.
INIS does not under any circumstances request payment for its services over the telephone. Any persons facing deportation will be communicated to by way of official written and registered correspondence only, as part of a detailed process of engagement.
I would advise any INIS customer who has been contacted in the manner described in the question to report the matter immediately to An Garda Síochána who will investigate the matter.