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Bank of Ireland to reimburse victims of smishing scam

The bank will also launch a campaign to raise awareness of smishing.

Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

BANK OF IRELAND customers who lost money due to smishing scams will be reimbursed, the bank has said. 

Customers had reported falling victim to fraudulent text messages – with some losing thousands of euros – prompting Bank of Ireland to conduct a review

People reported that the fraudulent texts had appeared as part of a message thread that included genuine correspondence from Bank of Ireland. 

Today, the bank confirmed that it would reimburse all customers identified as being impacted by the scam. 

Gavin Kelly, the CEO of Retail Ireland at Bank of Ireland, said that he understood the “distress caused to customers”.

“Smishing has been around for a long time, but there has been a spike in attacks since Covid-19, with fraudsters clearly recognising an opportunity to target consumers as we spent more time using phones and computers,” he said. 

“We have carried out a review into a recent smishing attack which has managed to defraud a number of customers. These cases have involved criminals inserting a fraudulent text into a thread containing genuine text messages from the Bank. This tricked customers into divulging their confidential banking details,” he said.

We also acknowledge that fraudsters have been particularly active during this period and as consumers, we have had many other pressing concerns to deal with through Covid-19. Therefore we will be reimbursing the customers for these losses and the Bank will absorb the financial impact.

The bank is also launching a new fraud awareness campaign to highlight the tactics used by criminals and scammers. 

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The campaign will advise customers on how to protect themselves from smishing attacks. 

“Bank of Ireland will never text, send emails or call a customer looking for their confidential banking details. The process where a fraudster can drop a text into a thread of text messages from any company is a common tactic used by criminals against the customers of banks and other service providers. We continue to work with the telecoms sector on this,” Kelly said. 

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