Gardaí issue warning abour 'smishing' scam designed to gain access to bank accounts

Gardaí issue warning abour 'smishing' scam designed to gain access to bank accounts

Gardaí have issued a warning about a text message scam that is designed to gain access to personal bank accounts.

The so-called 'smishing' scam sees potential victims receive a text message that claims to be from their bank and asks them to confirm personal details or click website links to unfreeze their account.

The website will then attempt to get people to disclose personal or financial information.

If clicked on, it can also download harmful software to computers or phones.

Gardaí at the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) and FraudSMART, the fraud awareness initiative of Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), say the message is designed to create panic or a sense of urgency, prompting people to act without thinking.

While BPFI was unable to provide a specific figure for the number of customers affected by the scam, a spokesperson said its member banks saw an increase in this type of scam two months ago and that there has been a particular increase in the last two weeks, with customers being targeted daily.

Detective Chief Superintendent Patrick Lordan, GNECB, said banks and other financial institutions will never make unsolicited contact with individuals asking for personal details, account numbers, PINs or passwords.

"People receiving unsolicited communications looking for these personal details should not reply to text messages, emails or other communications," he said.

"They should contact their bank independently to check on the validity of the communications they have received before taking any action."

Niamh Davenport, who leads BPFI’s FraudSMART programme, said people should be wary of unexpected calls or texts.

"Fraudsters are very convincing but don’t be afraid to take the time to make the relevant checks," she said.

"The scammer will try to rush you, but this is all designed to panic you into doing something you wouldn’t otherwise do."

Bank of Ireland warned about a smishing scam earlier this week, while other banks issued warnings in July after customers received messages telling them that their accounts had been "frozen".

More on this topic

Scammers accidentally call Kilkenny garda stationScammers accidentally call Kilkenny garda station

'The hospital never asks for credit card details over the phone' - Gardaí warn of scam'The hospital never asks for credit card details over the phone' - Gardaí warn of scam

Some people are needy rather than greedy when hit by a scamSome people are needy rather than greedy when hit by a scam

Shoppers: Beware of summer scams and fraudulent emailsShoppers: Beware of summer scams and fraudulent emails


More in this Section

Numbers on trolleys in Irish hospitals hits five-month highNumbers on trolleys in Irish hospitals hits five-month high

Westmeath obstetrician 'relieved' as Medical Council dismisses case against her over 'weak' evidenceWestmeath obstetrician 'relieved' as Medical Council dismisses case against her over 'weak' evidence

Man, 70s, dies after early-morning crash in Co RoscommonMan, 70s, dies after early-morning crash in Co Roscommon

Beef crisis latest:  'Self harm' being inflicted on industry; Concern for non-EU workers laid offBeef crisis latest: 'Self harm' being inflicted on industry; Concern for non-EU workers laid off


Lifestyle

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine advises a 20-something man who isn’t having any luck meeting women in bars and clubs.Ask a counsellor: ‘Neither me or my mates have had a date for years – what are we doing wrong?’

As Aussie beer and cider brand Gayle launches in the UK, Abi Jackson finds out more from co-founder Virginia Buckworth.‘Brewed with love’: How new Aussie brand Gayle is putting ‘gay ale’ on the world drinks map

Frédérique Lecomte uses drama to help child soldiers, as well as other victims and perpetrators in conflict zones, writes Ellie O’Byrne.Healing power of theatre

With two drum kits and three guitars, Thumper really do live up to their name, writes Ellie O’Byrne.Happy to be part of the rock revival

More From The Irish Examiner