Bank customers warned of an increase in fraud attempts

BANK customers have been warned of a new wave of fraudulent SMS messages in circulation.

The scammers attempt to use customers’ card details to set up Apple Pay and Google Pay accounts.

Bank of Ireland said it has seen a rise in these smishing scams, where scammers send fake text messages appearing to be from delivery services like An Post or government agencies like HSE and Revenue.

Customers who click on the links in the text messages are then directed to fake websites where they are asked for their card or online banking credentials.

Fraudsters use this data to set up Apple Pay and Google Pay on the customer’s card or set up the customer’s online banking on a new device.

If the customer reveals the genuine “one-time use passcode” sent by Bank of Ireland to verify setup, the scammer can access the customer’s account.

The bank said the number of smishing cases detected by its fraud prevention team increased by 50 percent.

Typically, customers receive a message pretending to be from An Post stating, “Your package is ready for delivery. Please pay the outstanding fee via this link…”

Other messages pretend to be from the HSE, saying: “You were in close contact with someone with Covid.

Please follow the instructions here to order a test…”

When the customer clicks on the link, they are taken to a fake website that gives them some personal information and their credit or debit card number.

The scammer then uses the customer’s card details to set up an Apple Pay or Google Pay account.

The customer then receives a genuine one-time passcode from Bank of Ireland to confirm Apple Pay or Google Pay setup, but then provides the code to the scammer on the phishing site.

If customers interrupted part of the fraud process, they may receive a call claiming to be from Bank of Ireland for bank details and the one-time passcode, the bank said.

These calls often appear to be coming from real Bank of Ireland numbers as the scammer can spoof the number shown on your display.

Edel McDermott, Bank of Ireland’s Head of Fraud, said: “Fraudsters tend to use a range of tactics that have been the subject of regular warnings for some time.

“When a new variation on a known theme emerges, it is a cause for concern and we warn customers to be extra vigilant.

“Text messages that appear to come from third parties such as delivery companies or government agencies should be treated with caution and reviewed accordingly.”

The bank has advised customers not to click on links or reply to SMS text messages designed to appear as if they are being sent by the bank or other companies and service providers.

Ms McDermott said Bank of Ireland would never text customers with a link to a website asking for online banking login details or one-time passwords that she sent.

Anyone who believes they have given out their banking details should immediately call the Bank of Ireland’s 24-hour toll-free number on 1800 946 764. Bank customers warned of an increase in fraud attempts

Fry Electronics Team

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