Smishing, vishing and phishing: Online fraud cases soar in Kilkenny
Online fraud cases have almost doubled since the start of the year, Kilkenny gardai have warned.
Local gardai made the revelation as they took part in National Fraud Awareness Week, a campaign to increase people’s understanding of the different types of scam targeting innocent members of the public.
The most common of these are when a person gets a text (smishing), an email (vishing) or a call (phishing) from a fraudsters. The Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) has reported a 80% in this type of crime since the turn of the year.
A local Garda spokesperson said: “To date 2021 has seen an increase in reported frauds. Locally, An Garda Síochána have received an increase in reports, most prevalent in the areas of account takeovers, phishing, vishing and smishing incidents.
“These scams change daily where the text/email/call received could be about Revenue, customs clearance, from banks, Covid-19 payments, any service provider but what the fraudster wants is the same – they want people’s data – be it banking codes, DOBs, passwords, PPS numbers – all of this data can be used in frauds.”
Banking-related scams appear to be the crime most reported to gardai.
Gardai explained: “The most prevalent one is purporting to be from your bank. You are invited to click a link which brings you to a cloned website.
“They will look for your 3 digits of your PIN – you enter them – you then get an error message and they look for the other 3 and you put them in – now they have your PIN. They may seek other data. They can then add another number to your account and make transfers out – this is called account takeover.
“It is not just older people falling victim of these scams. Older people tend to fall for the phone calls with younger people falling for the texts,” the spokesperson added.
The GNECB has the following advice for people:
- Never click on a link of an unsolicited text;
- Never give away personal data like PIN number, card numbers, passwords, one time codes;
- Banks would never request a customer return a card to the bank in such circumstances;
- Be very wary of cold calls – just because the number looks Irish does not mean it is – fraudsters use Voip numbers;
- If you are concerned hang up and ring your bank / service provider from a number advertised in the phone book or on your bill;
- If you are expecting a deliver and receive such a text be very careful. Again ring revenue on numbers advertised.
Gardai are urging people not to respond to these type of texts, and to instead take screenshots and to report the matter to their bank and local Garda station.