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Fraud Alert: Beware of unsolicited text messages claiming to be from your bank

As a result of recent increases in the level of smishing activity targeted towards Irish consumers, FraudSMART is issuing this important reminder to be wary of unsolicited text messages claiming to be from your bank.

Bank customers are being targeted by scammers through an ongoing smishing attack which contacts customers via a fraudulent text message purporting to be from their bank. These text messages, which may appear to come through a legitimate bank text message thread, direct customers towards a bogus website where they are asked to input personal or security information. The criminals then use that information to transfer funds from your accounts.

The messages often attempt to alarm you, claiming that urgent action is needed or it will have negative consequences. Smishing scams have increased in frequency and sophistication during the Covid-19 period, with scammers targeting customers as they spend larger amounts of time on their computer or phone.

Brian Hayes, CEO at Banking and Payments Federation Ireland, offers the following advice to consumers: “Always be wary of any unexpected calls or texts which appear to be from your bank, especially those asking for personal or security details. Fraudsters can be very convincing but don’t be afraid to take your time and make the relevant checks. If in doubt you should contact your bank directly to check if the communication is legitimate.”