Gardaí have issued a warning about suspicious text messages and emails after a member of the public reported being targeted by fraudsters over the weekend.
Crime Prevention Officer for Clare, Sergeant Triona Brooks, has warned about replying to any text or email apparently sent by a bank particularly if it is requesting your banking details.
Sgt Brooks outlined the circumstances of the most recently reported ‘phishing’ incident in Clare.
“On Saturday, 13th February at twenty to four in the afternoon, a lady received a text purporting to be from her bank saying that her account had been used for an online transaction and if she believed that this was fraudulent to clink on an attached link – the lady followed the link and provided all her banking details as she believed it was from her bank.
She then received a call from a person from her bank and two authorisation codes were sent in a text to the lady. She gave these codes to then man. Unfortunately later that day she realised that a large sum of money had been taken from her account,’ Sgt Brooks said.
Phishing is when a fraudulent email or text tricks the receiver into sharing their personal, financial or security information. Emails may look identical to the type of correspondence that your banks sends. They replicate the logos and layout of real emails and ask you to download an attachment or document.
Cyber criminals rely on the fact that people are busy – at a glance, these spoof emails appear to be legitimate.
The Garda advice is:
– Keep your software updated, including your browser, anti-virus and operating system.
– Be especially vigilant if a ‘bank’ email requests sensitive information from you like your password.
– Look at the email closely and compare the address with previous real messages from your bank. Check for bad spelling and grammar.
– Don’t reply to a suspicious email instead send it on to your bank by typing in the address yourself.
– Don’t click on a link or download an attachment. Never respond to a text message that requests your PIN or password.
– When in doubt double check on your bank’s website or give them a call.
– If you think you might have responded to a text or email and have provided your details, contact your bank immediately.