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Fraudsters are luring customers with fake ads. Shutterstock/fizkes

Bank of Ireland warns of 'alarming' new wave of online scams luring people with fake bargains

Bank of Ireland warns customers to remain vigilant amid a rise in so-called purchase scams.

BANK OF IRELAND has warned consumers of a new wave of purchase scams, with a 32% increase in reports of this type of fraud to the bank last year.

Fraudsters are luring customers to make payments for goods and services through fake advertisements online.

“From relatively low value items such as clothes and trainers, through to holiday home deposits and even cars, consumers are often lured by the false promise of a slashed price or bargain and asked to pay directly, sending money from their bank account to another via bank transfer, which provides little protection,” Bank of Ireland said.

The seller usually cuts all contact once the payment is transferred. 

Nicola Sadlier, head of fraud at Bank of Ireland, said that the “alarming” trend of fake advertisements appearing online is “not going away” – even with increased awareness among the general public. 

“It’s unacceptable to see fraudsters operating so openly through online advertisements. No company should be generating advertising revenue from criminals – search engines, websites and social media platforms really need to step up and crack down.

“Our advice to consumers is don’t click on these adverts, ignore them completely, and if something sounds too good to be true, it’s probably fraud,” she said. 

Bank of Ireland has issued advice for consumers to avoid falling victim to scams, urging consumers to research and read reviews of both the site and the seller.

It said people should always use secure payment methods such as debit or credit cards, and view large purchases in person before paying in full.

If people suspect they have been a victim of fraud they should contact their bank immediately so that the bank can take action to stop a fraud in progress and try to recover funds. 

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