PHONE SCAMS

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

One tele­phone scam that is preva­lent in­volves a call from some­one pur­port­ing to be from your bank. With th­ese scams, you’re typ­i­cally told there’s a fraud in your bank — and that the bank is look­ing for you to trans­fer money into a ‘safe’ ac­count. You are usu­ally ad­vised to with­draw money from your lo­cal bank branch and then to lodge that money into the ‘safe’ ac­count by ar­rang­ing a money trans­fer in your post of­fice.

You may be told not to tell the bank branch why you’re with­draw­ing the money — and the fraud­ster may sug­gest that the branch is in on the fraud, ac­cord­ing to Daven­port, who heads up the BPFI’S anti-fraud ini­tia­tive, frauds­mart.ie. Of course, the ‘safe’ ac­count in ques­tion is the fraud­ster’s ac­count — and once your money is trans­ferred into it you’re un­likely to ever see it again.

An­other ver­sion of this tele­phone scam is where you get a call from an in­di­vid­ual claim­ing to be from your bank — where you are told that your bank has no­ticed some un­usual trans­ac­tions on your ac­count and wants to con­firm your ac­count de­tails. Should you di­vulge those de­tails, the fraud­ster will then use those de­tails to at­tempt to ac­cess — and take money out of — your ac­count.

There have also been re­cent cases of peo­ple re­ceiv­ing calls ad­vis­ing them that their com­puter has been hacked or has a virus. The fraud­ster, who pur­ports to be from a well-known com­pany such as Mi­crosoft or Ap­ple, seeks pay­ment of any­thing from a few hun­dred euro to a few thou­sand to fix the non-ex­is­tent prob­lem.

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