Gardai warn of new phone scam targeting Kilkenny consumers and retailers
GARDAI have warned Kilkenny consumers and retailers to beware of a widespread rise in phone scams.
The latest scam involves fraudsters who claim to be calling from utility companies pretending there are issues with the customer’s broadband service.
The fraudsters pretend to work for a telephone, mobile or broadband provider and offer to “fix” computer or broadband problems.
“The caller will attempt to trick you into revealing your banking or card details and providing codes from your card reader to access your online banking and make fraudulent payments,” a Garda spokesperson said.
“You may be asked to allow the caller to take remote control of your computer to ‘assist’ you, however this could allow the fraudster to show you fraudulent screens.
“The callers are professional and will be able to transfer you to their ‘supervisor’ should you request this.”
Members of the public are advised to never give out personal information until they have checked that the caller is a genuine representative of the organisation they claim to be from.
The Garda warning comes in association with the FraudSMART, a fraud awareness initiative led by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).
Niamh Davenport, who leads the BPFI FraudSMART programme advised consumers to “always be wary of any unexpected calls or texts especially those asking for personal details or payments”.
She added: “Never give your financial or personal information in order to release money, refund fees, or access to your computer. Fraudsters are very convincing but don’t be afraid to take the time to make the relevant checks.”
How to avoid falling victim to phone scams:
- Advise the caller you will call them back once you have checked their identity. You can do this by:
- Looking up the organisation’s phone number using a phone book or website and calling the number yourself directly. Make sure you hear a dial tone before you dial. Do not use a number the caller has given to you as this could be a fake number.
- Don’t assume you can trust caller ID. Fraudsters can spoof a number, so it looks like they are calling from a particular company or bank, even when they are not.
- Remember it takes two people to terminate a landline phone call, you can use a different phone line to independently check the caller’s identity or at least make sure you hear a dial tone before you call anyone.
- Fraudsters may have basic information about you in their possession (e.g. name, address etc), do not assume the caller is genuine because they have this information. They source this information from publicly available information e.g. social media, phone books, websites
- Don’t allow yourself to be rushed. Take your time and do the relevant checks.