Fraud warning as Ulster Bank and KBC Bank prepare to exit the Irish market
In the coming months as both Ulster Bank and KBC Bank ask customers to move their accounts to another bank, we expect criminals will try to take advantage by contacting people through scam emails, scam SMS messages, scam social media messages, or scam calls. The fraudsters will try to gather personal information, bank account details, or card details that could be used to compromise your account or card. The scams will attempt to either:
- compromise and use existing bank card and online access details
- fraudulently open an account in your name with another bank
The fraudsters will try to panic or rush you into clicking on a link which brings you to a fraudulent website. You will be presented with an option to choose a new bank, and the next page will look exactly like that bank’s website.
Alternatively, they might try to persuade you to download an app which drops malware onto your phone or PC that enables them to take over your existing account.
Be on the lookout for messages that warn of the impending cancelation of your salary, standing orders, or direct debits to utilities which then ask you for personal information or account details.
It could look something like this:
If you receive a message like this, contact your employer directly using your office email or phone number. Do not click on the link. If you receive a call asking for bank (or card) details – hang up the phone and call your company directly.
Another variation of the scam might warn you a service or utility is about to be cut off:
Do not respond to this message or click on the link. Contact the service provider directly by using the phone number given on their website.
There is a risk that fraudsters will use this account transition period to obtain personal information through the guise of a problem with your account set-up or account switch (e.g., “your account set-up is not fully completed you must click here to activate your new account”).
Or they might message or call you claiming problems with the issuance of your new card, or with your online banking registration. They will request personal and account details to resolve the problem or may even ask you to provide access to your online banking to resolve the issue.
Alternatively, the fraudster might pretend to be from your bank and say your account is being closed and you must immediately move your money. Remember these can come by eMail as well as text or voice calls:
Do not click on any link or follow directions from somebody on a call without verifying first. Hang up the phone and call your bank using the number on their website. Remember: A Bank will NEVER ask you to transfer money to a “safe account”.
Your bank will have simple but useful tips on how to recognise a scam and how to protect yourself against fraudsters.
You can also find information on the most common fraud types on www.fraudsmart.ie/personal/fraud-scams/