Bank customers should be aware of convincing scam to access accounts

Emer-Higgins

AIB bank customers should be weary of a convincing text and phone scam by fraudsters trying to gain access to their accounts, according to TD Emer Higgins.

Deputy Higgins, the party’s spokesperson on Social Media and Finance Technology, received a number of calls to her office from victims warning about the potential dangers of the latest scam to hit bank customers.

Deputy Higgins said: “Criminals are now using sophisticated methods of phoning and texting customers to make it appear that this communication is legitimately from the banks themselves.

“I heard from one AIB customer who received a text saying a login had been made to her account from Manchester and to confirm it wasn’t her. The text message included a link where she was asked for personal information.

“Thinking the text was legitimately from AIB, she inputted her account number to her online account and other information.  The customer later received a phone call from the AIB number, 01 269 5022, which is its card service line, where a fraudster attempted to gain additional information from her including her sort code and card details.

“When the customer questioned the legitimacy of the call, even though it was from an Irish based AIB number, the fraudster became extremely abusive and told her the account would be wiped.

“This was a distressing experience and after calling AIB’s customer service line to change information which had been compromised, the customer was told this phone and text scam has been happening to many people in recent weeks.

“It is easy to imagine that vulnerable people may fall prey to this scam activity because ‘AIB’ is displayed on the text message and criminals are using the same phone numbers used by the bank to contact their customers.

“This type of phone scam is referred to as “vishing” and fraudsters typically steal credit/debit card numbers to gain access to internet banking.

“If you suspect you have been the victim of fraudulent activity, immediately end the call and ring back the number on the back of your card or call the official number for your branch.

Customers are also advised to never click on links sent in a message, or share passwords, or the full five digits of your personal access codes with anyone.

“The importance of a secure payment method also cannot be understated. People can make sure their connection is secure if they are sending sensitive personal information. A closed padlock icon will appear on the status bar and the URL will start with https:// rather than http://.

“There are so many common frauds and threats to customers in an attempt to gain access to their personal details and accounts.

“I would urge them to be weary of this activity and immediately contact the bank from the number of their card to change details if they need to. Websites, including AIB also has useful information that people can use to protect themselves against fraud – https://aib.ie/security-centre/common-frauds-and-threats,” Deputy Higgins concluded.

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of www.newsgroup.ie with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at info@newsgroup.ie.

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