Public urged to be on the alert for latest smishing scam

Gardai in Athlone are warning people to be on the alert for a scam text circulating in recent days purporting to be from a well-known bank in a bid to trick you out of online or card details.

Sending suspicious texts or smishing as it is often called involves fraudsters sending messages pretending, in this case, to be from Bank of Ireland.

The message highlighted by Athlone Gardai this week says that your debit card has been used for a transaction on a certain date and time, and then asks was this you? If it was not you, the scam text then directs you to a link that looks like one for a legitimate banking online service to review the payment, however, it is not.

Sgt Andrew Haran from Athlone Garda Station says they checked it out with the fraud section of Bank of Ireland who confirmed it is a scam and there have been quite a few incidents of this type of text in circulation over the last few days.

He says more than likely when you click the link the scammers will get access to data on your phone, or alternatively, if believing it is a legitimate site you will be prompted to put in your bank or card details.

Sgt Haran appealed to the public to be on the alert to this type of text scam and delete the message immediately.

On their website, Bank of Ireland stress that they will never send you a link asking you to confirm your personal banking details.

If you have received a suspicious text claiming to be from Bank of Ireland, they advise the following:

- Do not respond unless you are entirely satisfied that the text is genuine. If you are not sure, we can check it for you – just send it to and we’ll let you know if it was really from us. Remember to include the phone number that the text was sent from, or forward a screenshot of the text if possible.

- Do not use a phone number provided in the text which could be fake.

- Do not click on any links.

- Delete the text.

If you have clicked on a suspicious link, call the bank on 1800 946 764 as soon as possible.

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