Fraudsters ramp up attacks on Irish bank account holders

galway daily garda scam alert warning

Gardaí have urged AIB customers to be cautious after a spate of ‘smishing’ attacks on bank account holders this month.

The scammers are sending texts pretending to be from AIB, asking people to click a review or block a fraudulent transaction.

On some occasions they have told people that they have been locked out of their accounts.

The texts will encourage the account holders to click on a link and they will be asked to input codes from their Card Reader or divulge their One Time Passcode (OTP).

Gardaí have warned the public that this information is enough for scammers to access an account and transfer money out.

AIB and gardaí have advised people to never disclose their Registration Number or Personal Access Code (PAC) or card information after clicking a link on a text.

People should never generate codes from their AIB Card Reader to cancel transactions or divulge their One Time Passcode (OTP) to cancel transactions.

AIB has also reminded its customers that it will never ask people not to log back into their account or ask customers to click on a link.

If anyone has received such a call or text message and have disclosed any information, they should contact AIB immediately.

AIB customers can find out more information and advice from the Bank’s website. Similar frauds may be perpetrated against customers of other banks and the same advice applies.

These frauds cannot occur without the co-operation of people who allow their accounts to be used – so called Money Mules, Gardaí have said. Acting as a money mule is a serious offence and carries a 14-year prison sentence.

There has been a 132% increase in the amounts of ‘smishing’ reported to Gardaí for the first 20 days of January 2021 as against the first 20 days of January, 2020.