Gardaí issue text message scam
AN Garda Síochána wish
to alert people in Inishowen to an ongoing text
message scam focused on gaining access to personal
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
Key details of the
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.”