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An example of the type of texts received as part of ‘smishing’ scams

Clare public warned to be wary of a number of scams

GARDAÍ in Clare have issued warnings about various scams currently in operation. The scams vary from fraudsters trying to find out bank account details to sending fake messages about the Covid-19 vaccine to gain personal information.
Clare Crime Prevention Officer Sergeant Triona Brooks has confirmed a number of incidents which have occurred in the county in recent times.
“During the week a lady received a text purporting to be from her bank – she logged on and entered her account details and then realised that money had been taken from her account,” she said.
Gardaí also received a report from a man in North Clare who received a phone call from a male with a foreign accent telling him that he needed to pay money so that his parcel from Amazon could be delivered.
“Thankfully this man never ordered anything and terminated the phone call”, said Sergeant Brooks. While another lady received a phone call to say that her Amazon Prime membership was up. The caller asked her for her account details which she gave and then realised that money had been taken from her account.
“These are all scams – we are advising people to hang up or delete a text message as your bank will never contact you by text or over the phone looking for your personal and bank details.”
In recent days, An Garda Síochána has become aware of members of the public receiving fraudulent text messages and calls regarding Covid vaccination.
The text messages have made requests for people to confirm private and sensitive information such as PPS number, date of birth and address.
“There is a text that is purportedly sent from the HSE asking people to confirm their availability for the vaccination, give their PPS number, date of birth and address. Do not respond to it and let anyone elderly or vulnerable person you know about it. They will be contacted by their GP about the vaccination,” said Sergeant Brooks.
According to An Garda Síochána people have also received scam phone calls requesting they make an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccine jab at a random hospital. In most cases, the person receiving the call will say they are not in a position to travel to the hospital and this allows the caller to extract further personal details. Some individuals might confirm that they live alone or reveal their home address. The HSE will never text or call individuals requesting personal information and they will never request payment for a Covid test or vaccine. Anyone who mistakenly provides personal information in response to this scam should contact report the matter to their local garda station
Meanwhile An Garda Síochána and Allied Irish Banks are seeing a large increase in ‘smishing’ attacks on customers in the month of January, 2021.
The fraudsters are sending a text to a person purporting to be from AIB and advising the person to click a review or block a fraudulent transaction or advise the person that they have been locked out of their account. The text will encourage the person to click on a link and asked to input codes from their Card Reader or divulge their One Time Passcode (OTP). This information is sufficient for the fraudster to access the person’s account and transfer money out.
Gardaí and AIB would like to advise account holders:
• Never disclose their Registration Number or Personal Access Code (PAC) or card information after clicking a link on a text.
• Never generate codes from their AIB Card Reader to cancel transactions.
• Never divulge their One Time Passcode (OTP) to cancel transactions.
• AIB will never ask you not to log back into your account.
• AIB will never ask you to click on a link.

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