Details issued of three scam messages in circulation
Details have been issued of three scam’s currently in circulation.
Firstly, the Revenue Commissioners have become aware of SMS (text messages) purporting to come from Revenue seeking personal information from taxpayers in connection with a tax refund or seeking credit/debit card details.
These text messages did not issue from Revenue.
The Revenue Commissioners never send emails or text messages requiring customers to send personal information via email, text or pop-up windows.
Anyone who receives an email or text message purporting to be from Revenue and suspects it to be fraudulent or a scam should simply delete it. Anyone who is actually awaiting a tax refund should contact their local Revenue Office to check its status.
Anyone who provided personal information in response to these fraudulent emails or text messages should contact their bank or credit card company immediately.
Please see Revenue’s security page for further information.
Secondly, An Garda Síochána and Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. are seeing a large increase in ‘smishing’ attacks on Allied Irish Bank customers in the month of January.
The fraudster are sending a text to a person purporting to be from AIB and advising the person to click a review or block a fraudulent transaction or advise the person that they have been locked out of their account. The text will encourage the person to click on a link and asked to input codes from their Card Reader or divulge their One Time Passcode (OTP). This information is sufficient for the fraudster to access the person’s account and transfer money out.
Gardaí and AIB would like to advise account holders, as follows:
• Never disclose their Registration Number or Personal Access Code (PAC) or card information after clicking a link on a text.
• Never generate codes from their AIB Card Reader to cancel transactions.
• Never divulge their One Time Passcode (OTP) to cancel transactions.
• AIB will never ask you not to log back into your account.
• AIB will never ask you to click on a link.
If anyone has received such a call or text message and have disclosed any information, they should contact AIB immediately. AIB customers can find out more information and advice from the Banks website. Similar frauds may be perpetrated against customers of other Banks and the same advice applies.
There is a 132% increase in the amounts of ‘smishing’ reported to Gardaí for the first 20 days of January 2021 as against the first 20 days of January, 2020. This will rise considerably more once more and more people realise that they were the victims of a fraud.
Finally, An Garda Síochána, the HSE and The Department of Health would like to advise members of the public to be aware of potential scams relating to the Covid-19 vaccine.
In recent days, An Garda Síochána is aware of members of the public having received fraudulent text messages and calls regarding Covid vaccination.
The text messages have made requests for people to confirm private and sensitive information such as PPS number, date of birth and address.
Other people have received phone calls requesting they make an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine jab at a random hospital. In most cases, the person receiving the call will say they are not in a position to travel to the hospital.
This allows the caller to extract further personal details. Some individuals might confirm that they live alone or reveal their home address. The caller will then offer to come to their residence to administer a vaccine.
The HSE will never text or call individuals requesting personal information and they will never request payment for a Covid test or Vaccine.
Your local GP will be the first point of contact about vaccination or Covid testing.
The Covid-19 vaccine is free and it is not available privately.
Never disclose private information over phone or via text message.
Do not give out your PPS Number to anyone who makes unsolicited contact with you whether by phone or email. The HSE will never call or text you and ask for your PPS number
The HSE will never call you to request your home address
Never give away personal data or disclose who you may live with or if you live alone
The HSE will never request payment for a Covid test or vaccine
If you receive such a call, just hang up
Anyone who mistakenly provides personal information in response to this scam should contact report the matter to their local Garda Station
If you have questions or concerns relating to Covid testing or vaccination, contact your local GP