Bank of Ireland sees 50% increase in smishing cases


Bank of Ireland has warned it has seen a 50% increase in detections of so-called ‘smishing’ cases since a new tactic was introduced by fraudsters seeking to access customer funds via Apple or Google Pay.

The scam involves fraudsters sending fake text messages to people who appear to be from a delivery company, An Post or government agencies such as the HSE and Revenue.

If the customer clicks on the link in the message, they are directed to a fake website and asked to enter their card or online banking details.

Bank of Ireland says this information is then used to set up Apple or Google Pay on the customer’s card.

Alternatively, the customer’s online banking access is moved to a new device.

The bank warned that if the unique access code sent to the client by it is given to the fraudster, then he can get full access to the account.

He warned that if the customer stops during the scam process, a call is sometimes made by the scammers, claiming to be from the Bank of Ireland, seeking their details or a one-time access code.

The lender says it has seen an increase in such cases of “smishing” as part of a new wave of scam text messages circulating.

“Fraudsters tend to use a range of tactics which have been the subject of regular warnings for some time,” said Edel McDermott, head of fraud, Bank of Ireland.

“When a new variation on a familiar theme appears, it’s a real cause for concern, and we warn customers to be extremely vigilant.”

“Text messages appearing to originate from third parties such as delivery companies or government agencies should be treated with caution and checked accordingly.”

The bank says it will never send text messages or emails with a direct link to the login page of its online banking channels seeking to confirm or update details.

It will also never ask customers to click on a link in an email containing an urgent warning about suspicious activity on your account.

He will also never ask a customer to transfer money from his account to protect him against fraud.

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