Text scam warning

By Mary Dennehy

MEMBERS of the public have been alerted to an ongoing text message scam focused on gaining access to personal bank accounts.

An Garda Siochana, supported by the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), are advising people to be alert to a text message or ‘smishing’ scam that involves victims receiving a text message appearing to be from their bank.

phone or suicide

The text asks people to confirm personal details or click on links to unfreeze their account.

According to gardai, if the text includes a link to a website, the website is a fake one.

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

If the link is clicked it could, according to gardai, also download dangerous software known as malware to your computer or mobile device.

Gardai have warned that the text will often create a sense of urgency to make a person act without thinking.

According to Detective Chief Superintendent Patrick Lordan, of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau: “Banks and other financial entities will never make unsolicited contact with individuals asking for personal details, account numbers, 4-digit pin number or passwords.

“…people receiving unsolicited communications looking for these personal details should not reply to text messages, email or other communications.

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

For further advice and information visit www.garda.ie or www.FraudSMART.ie.

What you can do:

  • A text from your bank will not ask you for any personal information, only ever respond Y or N to bank text messages.
  • Never respond to a text message that requests your4-digit card PIN, your online banking details or any other password.
  • Don’t be rushed. Take your time and make the appropriate checks before responding.
  • Do not click on a link, attachment or image
  • If you think you have responded to a ‘smishing’ text message, contact your bank immediately.
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