FraudSMART is warning consumers to be on high alert as text message fraud, known as smishing, continues to become more prevalent. A recent survey by FraudSMART revealed that this type of fraud is now the dominant channel for fraud attempts, with 1 in 2 adults having received fraudulent text message in the previous 12 months. These text messages often include a link and sense of urgency requiring immediate action
A recent FraudSMART report shows that fraudsters stole nearly €85 million (€84.6m) through frauds and scams in 2022, an increase of 8.8% on 2021. Card fraud accounted for over 95% of fraudulent payment transactions with most of the increase driven by online card fraud or ‘card not present’ fraud where a criminal uses the victim’s compromised card information to make an online purchase.
Commenting on how consumers can stay alert, Niamh Davenport, Head of Financial Crime, FraudSMART said: “The truth is any of us can fall victim to fraudsters. Frauds and scams are becoming increasingly more complex and credible and are often undertaken by criminal gangs who run large scale operations. Banks are using a range of measures such as encryption and continuous fraud monitoring to protect their customers and ensure every day payments can be made securely, but fraudsters are increasingly targeting businesses and consumers directly through online channels including emails and social media or by phone, so it is important for us all to know how to protect ourselves.”
“If you receive a text asking you for personal or financial information, whether its purporting to be from your bank, eFlow, the HSE, parcel delivery services or any other company, do not to click on the link, especially if there is a sense of urgency to it. Pause for thought and if in any doubt contact the company independently.”
Ms Davenport continued: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help if something goes wrong. Sometimes people who have given their bank details to a fraudster keep that fact to themselves out of embarrassment. If you have shared your bank details and realise that it is a scam, report it to your bank and the Gardaí as soon as possible. FraudSMART also provides a wealth of information and tips so visit the website at fraudsmart.ie to keep up to date on the latest advice.”
What to do if you receive a suspicious text message:
- Do not respond to messages with personal information.
- Do not click on links in text messages, instead log into your service provider account through the official website or app
- A bank will never text/email/phone looking for personal information.
- Contact your bank/service provider/employer directly.
- Never use contact details from a text message, always independently verify.
- Always double check before clicking links or attachments in random or unexpected emails or texts and never give away security details such as PINs or passwords to anyone.
Consumers can access a wealth of other advice on how to avoid fraud by visiting www.FraudSMART.ie and signing up for email alerts on current risks and trends.
About FraudSMART: FraudSMART is a fraud awareness initiative developed by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) in conjunction with the following member banks, Allied Irish Bank plc, Bank of Ireland, KBC Bank Ireland, Permanent TSB, Ulster Bank, An Post Money Barclays and Avant Money. The programme aims to raise consumer and business awareness of the latest financial fraud activity and trends and provide simple and impartial advice on how best they can protect themselves and their resources. www.fraudsmart.ie