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Dublin: 0°C Sunday 11 April 2021

Gardaí warn of banking scam targeting social media users

The most recent fraud involves customers of a banking institution being targeted via advertisements on Facebook.

Image: Shutterstock.com

GARDAÍ ARE WARNING members of the public to be aware of ‘Social Media’ enabled fraud.

The most recent fraud reported to An Garda Síochána and the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) involves customers of a banking institution being targeted via advertisements on Facebook.

In a statement this morning, Gardaí outlined how this fraud take place:

  • The advertisement refers to internet banking and invites the customer to take a tour of the system for a small reward (€15 or €30)
  • The customer clicks on the link, to a ‘Fake’ login page
  • The customer enters their login details – these details are now in the hands of the Fraudster
  • The Fraudster takes control of the account, and sets up a new ‘Beneficiary’ on the account, to whom money can be transferred
  • The customers will receive an automated text or SMS from the bank, with a code to authorise the addition of the ‘Beneficiary’ to the account

The customer will then enter the code into the ‘Fake’ account which is captured by the Fraudsters, or intercepted via malware on a computer, laptop or mobile phone.

Gardaí said a bank account can then be emptied within minutes and have outlined a number of warning signs. These include:

  • Social Media advertisements offering ‘rewards’ to people, who must take some action that will reveal their Bank account details or Credit Card numbers and access codes
  • To get the ‘reward’, the customer must click on a link in the advertisements that will bring them to their bank login page
  • The customer is then required to login to their bank account in order to get the ‘reward’, revealing their login details and password or pin number or other code

Public Warning

Detective Chief Superintendent Lordan of the GNECB today warned the public to “stop and think”.

Lordan urged the public to be “very wary” these advertisements, to not click on them and to check with the bank or other organisation apparently offering the ‘reward’ by searching for that bank or organisation online and independently of the link in the advertisement.

“If the genuine website is not clearly offering the advertisement for a ‘reward’ – the social media advertisement is a fraud,” said Lordan. “Your money has been protected by a simple check.”

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