Fraud Awareness: How to avoid scams
18 July 2023
What is Fraud?
Fraud is when a person is financially cheated by another person. Fraud occurs when an individual (fraudster) misleads another individual (victim) by persuading them to do/or not do something that results in financial loss.
Be alert if you receive a phone call out of the blue from someone claiming to be from your bank. They may claim to be calling from the fraud department and claim your account has been compromised. They may ask for your bank details in order to prevent future fraudulent transactions. Do not share any details.
Remember, a bank will never call, email, or text you asking for your bank account or card details, user ID, PIN number, internet password. Never share authorisation codes that have been sent to you by text with anyone, even if that person says they’re calling from your bank.
Banks will not send you an SMS with a clickable link to input your details, they only send SMS for informational purposes. Fraudsters have been able to clone mobile numbers used by An Post or other financial institutions to send you SMS messages so never assume the message is from us.
What are the most common types of fraud?
Online Shopping Fraud
When shopping online, you may be asked to approve the transaction through your banking app. This is called 3D Secure. 3D Secure is extra fraud protection. It requires customers to complete an additional verification step when paying online. A notification will be sent to the device you have the app installed on. If you have the app downloaded on more than one device, the notification will be sent to the most recent device you activated the app on.
Gift Card Scams
There is a string of scams taking place asking people to buy gift cards for various reasons. Fraudsters are requesting codes from the back of these gift cards so they can use them as payment for online purchases.
Tips to avoid becoming a victim of these scams:
- Ensure you’ve met the individual in person before purchasing a gift card for them.
- Do not provide the codes on the back of the gift card to anyone you do not know.
- Report potential scams immediately to local authorities.
Victims of this scam believe they have met their perfect match online, but the person is a fraudster using a fake profile to build the relationship. They slowly gain the victims trust with a view of eventually asking them for money.
Fraudsters may try get their victims to send them money using the following excuses:
What are the signs of romance fraud?
- To cover the cost of travelling to see the victim.
- For emergency medical expenses for the scammer or a family member, typically a child.
- A business opportunity which would allow them to live a comfortable life together.
What can you do?
- Fraudsters will try to move communications away from dating websites. They will suggest that the conversations move to instant messaging, text or phone calls.
- Fraudsters will try to establish a personal bond very quickly. They do this by creating pet names e.g.: love, darling etc.
- Fraudsters will ask a lot of personal questions but avoid answering any themselves.
- Fraudsters will never meet in person or video call. They will make promise to meet up but make excuses to delay meeting in person when the time comes.
- Use trusted dating sites.
- Do not share personal details
- Do not send/receive money.
- Trust your instincts.