Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough has warned people not to click into any link in a text message purporting to be from a bank or a financial institution.
Cllr McGeough said “I received a text today telling me that my PTSB online access was frozen and if I wanted to recover my account I had to click a link. I do not bank with PTSB so I was immediately wary but I have to say, it was believable and if I was a PTSB customer I may have been tempted to click it. About an hour later a constituent told me of a text she had received from Bank of Ireland which was very similar so this seems to be the latest scam doing the rounds.”
Earlier, Bank of Ireland announced that they were aware of the smishing (SMS Phising) scam and were set to conduct a review after several customers were conned out of thousands of euro.
According to Cllr McGeough “apparently the tactic involves the scammers sending bulk texts randomly to mobile phone numbers all saying the same thing. It only takes a few people to respond and the scammers are quids in. These scammers are professional at this and are very believable when they get you on the phone.
“I want to warn people firstly that this particular scam is doing the rounds and secondly to remind people never to divulge any personal banking details over the phone to anyone, a genuine call from a bank or financial institution will never ask for log in details or passwords. If you are concerned or worried about a call, hang up and dial the bank directly yourself or call into your branch and speak with someone.
“In this day and age you are more likely to be robbed digitally than being mugged on the street. I’m warning people to be aware and assume it’s a scam unless the caller can prove otherwise. These people are very good at what they do and they only need a very small percentage to fall for it and it’s a good payday for them.”