Warning issued over fraud ring seeking bank details of victims

GARDAÍ HAVE ISSUED a warning about a fraud ring targeting bank accounts where people get a text with a link to what looks like a genuine bank site.

It has resulted in the theft of “very significant sums of money” from victims’ bank accounts according to gardaí.

The fraud occurs when fraudsters send out SMS/Texts with a link to what appears to be a genuine bank website.

The text will appear to be from a bank and the initials of the bank will be included in the link to make it appear genuine.

Similar instances of fraud were warned about by chocolate company Cadbury yesterday, after reports of people receiving messages promising hampers if they click on a link.

The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau advised that people should never hand over their bank card details to a third party or give them their PIN code, or online banking details.

The fraud is a success when the victim clicks on the link, enter their personal details including their phone number and then log in to their account.

The fraudster monitors this and can then recover the personal details, the log in number and password/code.

“They then call the victim, pretending to be from the fraud department of the bank and convince the victim that their account is compromised and that their bank card is required by the bank for ‘forensic testing’ or some other reason,” a Garda spoksperson said.

“They tell the victim that the bank will send out a 3rd party to collect the card. The victim is advised to put the card in an envelope and write the PIN number on the outside.”

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This is then handed to the third party on arrival and the fraudster will frequently be on the phone to the victim as the 3rd party arrives to encourage the handover of the envelope.

The innocent third party may have also been contacted via an app or other social media to collect the envelope from the victim and to deliver it to an agreed location, usually near a bank. They will be met by a person on foot who will take possession of the card

The card is then used to withdraw cash and to transfer funds out of the victims account.

Garda advice is as follows:

  • Never CLICK on links in an unsolicited text message;
  • Never give away your PIN number or ONE TIME codes, or online banking; details/passwords.Your bank will NEVER ask for these details;
  • NEVER act on advice or instruction received from during an unsolicited call;
  • NEVER download an APP on the instruction from an unsolicited call;
  • NEVER hand over your Bank Card to a 3rd party.

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