Monday 16 September 2019

Gardaí issue warning over fraudulent text message scam targeting your bank accounts

'The smartphone-based app allows a child, as well as their parents, teachers and case workers, access to a secure online classroom.' (stock photo)
'The smartphone-based app allows a child, as well as their parents, teachers and case workers, access to a secure online classroom.' (stock photo)

Aoife Walsh

Gardai have issued a warning over a fraudulent text scam targeted at gaining access to personal bank accounts.

Gardai said the scam SMS will falsely appear to be from your bank and will contain a link leading to a website which will ask you to "verify”, "update” or to "reactivate” your account.

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

Gardai have warned that the website is fake, and clicking on it could download malware, a software designed to damage your 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.

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

A garda spokesperson said: "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 & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) are 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, GNECB said: "Banks and other financial entities will never make unsolicited contact with individuals asking for personal details, account numbers, 4-digit pin number or passwords.”

He added: "People receiving unsolicited communications looking for these personal details should not reply to text messages, emails or other communications. They should contact their bank independently to check on the validity of the communications they have received before taking any action".

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