Irish fraudsters in my old home town of Cork have been foiled by a far-sighted councillor who still uses a typewriter. The scammers tried to swindle money out of people by setting up phishing email accounts in the name of local politicians.
A request for financial help for people in palliative care was sent out from an fake email address purporting to be that of Independent East Cork Councillor Noel Collins, a former Mayor of Midleton. Mr Collins has no mobile phone, no landline, and still writes all his correspondence on his typewriter.
Mr Collins was one of three councillors who were impersonated via email in an attempt to scam money from other members of Cork County Council. Upon receiving the fraudulent email, fellow Independent councillor Mary Linehan Foley, Sinn Féin’s Danielle Twomey, and Fine Gael’s Susan McCarthy immediately knew something was up.
They knew Mr Collins, the longest-serving councillor in Ireland, with more than 50 years of public service, shuns modern technology. Like Sydney typewriter collector and former New South Wales Labor politician Richard Amery, Mr Collins uses his typewriter to compose letters to constituents.
Nonetheless, Mr Collins can be contacted through the council, at Noel.Collins@cllr.corkcoco.ie