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Friday 20 October 2017

Thousands are being targeted by fraudsters

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Stock photo
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Huge numbers of people say they have experienced financial fraud - and many feel the problem is getting worse.

Eight out of 10 people said they had been targeted by fraudsters through a dodgy email, phone call, text or online message, according to research commissioned by the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland.

Email scams are the most common form of attack. The survey showed 61pc of Irish people have experienced email scams.

But attempts to extract money from consumers by phone and text are also being used extensively, according to the research.

Concern about fraud is higher among those aged 55 and over.

More than 90pc of this group check bank statements online.

However, large numbers of younger people take risks such as checking their bank accounts using a public wi-fi system.

Around one-in-five also allows cards to be taken out of sight when paying for something.

The research, which was carried out by Empathy across a nationally representative sample of 1,013 adults, also found that almost half of adults know someone who had been affected by fraud.

More than half of people surveyed said they felt more vulnerable to fraud now than they did two years ago.

Fraud awareness and payments manager at the Banking and Payments Federation Niamh Davenport said: "Generally speaking, Irish people are pretty savvy when it comes to prevention.

"However, people still check their online banking on public wi-fi, and nearly one-in-five allows vendors to take their card out of sight for payment.

"This tells us we need to educate people on the simple everyday actions they might take unconsciously that can leave them vulnerable to fraud."

The top three cited behaviours that could be taken to avoid a scam are: avoiding clicking on links on emails if you were not expecting to receive an email from the sender; paying heed to your instincts; and resisting opening or downloading an attachment in an email from someone you do not know.

"Nearly 40pc of adults claim they are concerned about fraud," Ms Davenport added.

She said that given the advances and reliance on technology, it was no surprise that fraudsters were getting more sophisticated and creative.

Irish Independent

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