FraudSMART looks at one of the most common type of scams – phone scams – and advises how our ABC steps can help you to protect yourself
A Phone Scam is where a fraudster will call pretending to be your bank. They convince you that your money is in danger and that you urgently need to transfer it to a “safe account”. They may ask you to transfer the funds over the phone with them or go to your branch to make a transfer or even to your local post office.
Of course, in the cold light of day of course you would never transfer money because of an unexpected call but these fraudsters are extremely sophisticated and good at their job.
So how do these fraudsters convince you to transfer your hard-earned cash?
- Fraudsters may already have basic information about you in their possession (e.g., name, address, account details). Do not assume a caller is genuine because they have these details.
- They use tricks such as playing call centre background noise or advise you to contact the Gardaí to add to the legitimacy of the call.
- They will create a sense of urgency around the need to protect your money. They don’t want to give you time to research or investigate their legitimacy, often saying that your bank cards have been used fraudulently.
- The caller ID number may look like your bank. However, this has been faked to hide the true origin of the call.
- The fraudster is always slick, professional and the call has an urgent tone.
A – Always Be Alert:
- To unexpected calls or emails from your bank and never give out personal/banking information.
- Your bank will never ask you to carry out a test transaction online or be part of an internal investigation.
B – Bide your time:
- Don’t be rushed. Take time to do your checks and know who you are talking to.
- Remember that it takes two people to terminate a phone call. You can use a different phone line to independently check the callers’ identity.
C – Contact your Bank:
- Hang up and contact your bank immediately using the number on the back of your card.
- You should also report suspected fraud incidents to your local Garda Station.
For more information on common frauds and tips for protecting yourself visit www.fraudSMART.ie where you can find a host of information, resources and can sign up for fraud alerts.