Tuesday 17 September 2019

Garda warning of fraudulent texts to seize banking details

Beware: Banks never send texts asking for customers’ details. Stock picture
Beware: Banks never send texts asking for customers’ details. Stock picture

Aoife Walsh

Gardaí have issued a warning over a fraudulent text scam that aims to gain access to personal bank accounts.

They said the scam SMS will falsely appear to be from a target's bank and contain a link leading to a website which will ask them to "verify", "update" or "reactivate" their account.

The unsolicited text may also ask for a reply to the message with personal or financial information or to click on a link to a website.

Gardaí have warned that the website is fake, and clicking on it could download malware, a software designed to damage the computer or mobile device.

The text message could also instruct the receiver to go to a website or make a phone call to a specified number, and will emphasise the need for urgent response by the recipient as though their account will be comprised otherwise.

Gardaí added that banks and financial institutions would never send an SMS requesting access to a bank account.

A Garda statement warned: "An Garda Síochána at the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau wish to alert the public to an ongoing text message scam focused on gaining access to personal bank accounts.

"An Garda Síochána, supported by the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), is advising consumers to be on the alert to a text message or 'smishing' scam in which victims receive a text appearing to be from their bank asking them to confirm personal details or click on links to unfreeze their account.

"Gardaí at the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) wish to advise that the focus of the criminals in this latest scam is to obtain personal information that will allow them to steal money from bank accounts."

Detective Chief Superintendent Patrick Lordan, of the GNECB, said: "Banks and other financial entities will never make unsolicited contact with individuals asking for personal details, account numbers, four-digit pin number or passwords."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News