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Gardaí issue text message scam alert 26.08.19

AN Garda Síochána wish to alert people in Inishowen to an ongoing text message scam focused on gaining access to personal bank accounts.
The public are advised to be on the alert to a text message or ‘smishing’ scam in which victims receive a text appearing to be from their bank asking them to confirm personal details or click on links to unfreeze their account.
The focus of the criminals in this latest scam is to obtain personal information that will allow them to steal money from bank accounts. Detective Chief Superintendent Patrick Lordan, Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) stated that "banks and other financial entities will never make unsolicited contact with individuals asking for personal details, account numbers, 4-digit pin number or passwords”. He warned that "people receiving unsolicited communications looking for these personal details should not reply to text messages, emails or other communications. They should contact their bank independently to check on the validity of the communications they have received before taking any action".
Visit www.FraudSMART.ie for advice on fraud prevention.
Key details of the scam:
1. The message will imitate a text from your bank.
2. The message will typically ask you to click on a link to a website to "verify”, "update” or to "reactivate” your account.
3. It may ask you to reply to the text message with personal or financial information or to click on a link to website.
4. If it includes a link, the website is a fake one. The website will then attempt to get you to disclose personal or financial information. If clicked on it also could download dangerous software known as malware to your computer or mobile device.
5. Often the text will create a sense of urgency to make you act without thinking e.g. your money is in danger or your account will be frozen.

Niamh Davenport, who leads the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) FraudSMART programme, offers the following advice to consumers: "Always be wary of any unexpected calls or texts which appear to be your bank especially those asking for personal details or payments. Your bank will never ask for your personal information so never give your financial or personal information in order to release money, refund fees, or access to your computer. Fraudsters are very convincing but don’t be afraid to take the time to make the relevant checks. The scammer will try to rush you, but this is all designed to panic you into doing something you wouldn’t otherwise do.”
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