Gardaí warn bank customers of ‘smishing’ attack


Gardaí and Allied Irish Banks (AIB) are warning customers of a large increase in ‘smishing’ attacks on customers since the start of the month.

According to data from Gardaí, there has been a 132 per cent increase in the number of ‘smishing’ incidents reported in the first 20 days of 2021.

Gardaí and AIB have received reports of customers getting texts, which claim to be from the bank, advising the recipient to click a review, block a fraudulent transaction or that they have been locked out of their account.

They are then encouraged to click a link contained in the text and prompted to enter their codes or One Time Passcode (OTP), which gardaí say is sufficient for the scammers to access the person’s account and transfer money out.

An example of a ‘smishing’ scam text message received by a bank customer. Image: Garda Press Office

Gardaí and AIB are advising people they should never disclose their registration number, personal access code (PAC) or any card information, nor should they generate a code from their AIB card reader to cancel a transaction.

The bank adds they will never ask their customers not to log back into their account and will never ask you to click on a link contained in a text message. The same guidance applies to customers of all other banks.

Anyone who has received such a call or text is asked to report the incident to AIB immediately and more information and advice on scams such as these can be found on the AIB website.

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