by David Raleigh
Gardaí have issued a warning to people to be extra vigilant of scam text messages purporting to be from real financial institutions, after a young man from Limerick was duped out of €9,000.
Gardaí said the man in his mid-20s found his bank account was hacked after he engaged with a text message that appeared to have been sent to him from his bank.
“A man in his middle twenties was away in Belfast on a short break when he received a text message which appeared to be from his bank requesting verification of recent transactions. As the message was received on the same thread as previous advertisements and updates from his bank he was not suspicious,” offered Sergeant Ber Leetch, Henry Street Garda Station, Limerick.
“The young man entered his login details which redirected him to another page requesting further information, at this point he became suspicious and closed all tabs; the following morning he received a call from his bank inquiring if he had transferred over €9,000 to a third party account. The young man had not authorised this transaction and informed the bank of the text message he had received.”
“The bank had no details of where the payment was transferred to but the bank could confirm that his account had been hacked,” said Sgt Leetch.
Sergeant Leetch agreed that a message appearing on a previous thread from a reputable bank would convince many people it was kosher.
“I know but I am hearing advertisements every day on the radio and television from banks advising customers that they will not communicate with them through text message if they require passwords or pin numbers,” she said.
“This is very simple advice and tells me that if I receive a text from my bank requesting security details or pin numbers then it is possibly a fraud.”
“To reassure myself I would look up the number of my bank and ring them, but I would not reply to the text,” she added.