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Europol Cyber Scams Awareness

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland and An Garda Síochána in co-operation with the Department of Justice and Equality is supporting Europol and the European Banking Federation in the Pan-European #CyberScams Awareness Campaign from 17th to 23rd October 2018 as part of European Cyber Security Month.


The tactics used by cybercriminals to scam victims are becoming increasingly innovative and harder to detect.  The Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA) 2018, published by Europol, highlights that criminals are more often using techniques, known as social engineering, to lure unsuspecting users into sending them their confidential data, allowing them to obtain your personal data, hijack your accounts, steal your identity, initiate illegitimate payments or convince you to proceed with any other activity against your self-interest such as transferring money or sharing personal data.


The most effective defence against social engineering is the education of potential victims, who can be anyone of us who uses the Internet.  Raising awareness on how to identify the various deception techniques used, will help keep us and our finances safe online.


Over the next week the #Cyberscams Awareness Campaign will provide information on the seven (7) most common online financial scams and how to avoid them. These have been identified as:


  • CEO fraud: scammers pretend to be your Chief Executive Officer or a senior representative in the organisation and trick you into paying a fake invoice or making an unauthorised transfer out of the business account.
  • Invoice fraud: they pretend to be one of your clients/suppliers and trick you into paying future invoices into a different bank account.
  • Phishing/Smishing/Vishing: they call you, send you a text message or an email to trick you into sharing your personal, financial or security information.
  • Spoofed bank website fraud: they use bank phishing emails with a link to the spoofed website. The site will look like its legitimate counterpart, with small differences. Once you click on the link, various methods are used to collect your financial and personal information.
  • Romance scam: they pretend to be interested in a romantic relationship. It commonly takes place on online dating websites, but scammers often use social media or email to make contact.
  • Personal data theft: they harvest your personal information via social media channels.
  • Investment and online shopping scams: they make you think you are on a smart investment… or present you with a great fake online offer.