Mother of two falls for online banking scammers – Connacht Tribune – Galway City Tribune:
A city woman living in the county has been scammed out of almost €3,000 in the latest online banking and text message scam that has made the rounds.
The mother-of-two has fallen victim to the latest AIB scam which targets people across Ireland – and in particular the West.
Fraudsters send text messages to people’s phones, pretending to be from the financial institution, and then take money from their bank account.
The woman – who asked not to be named – worked for a bank and said the message was very realistic and did not look suspicious.
“I’m the one who always tells my mom not to open links, and now I got caught. I felt so stupid,” she told the Galway City Tribune.
In the latest trick, victims receive a text message claiming to be from AIB. It reads: “Your online access has been blocked at this time. Visit revokedaib.com for more information on how to regain access.
The Galway woman clicked on the link and later discovered she had automatically withdrawn some €2,997 from her AIB bank account.
The figure was just under €3,000 as that was the highest amount she could transfer to her account and any amount above €3,000 would trigger an alert in AIB.
She said she was “shaken” by the experience because she had dealt with similar cases while working at another financial institution.
“I am completely in shock; it was so convincing. I watched Tinder Swindler last night (a Netflix drama about a love scammer), and it’s ironic how I got bitten today,” she said.
Galway Gardaí – and the Garda Press Office nationally – have warned of an upsurge in online fraud activity in recent weeks.
Garda Chief Superintendent Tom Curley told the County Galway Joint Police Committee this month that hundreds of people in Galway had been victims of online and mobile phone fraud. And he said that tens of thousands of euros have been stolen through this technological fraud.
He advised people not to reply to or click on links in text messages from businesses or organizations.
“Don’t click on the links – that’s the advice,” Supt. Chief Curley.
Gardaí advised the public to beware of text messages, even if it is a thread containing previous genuine messages from your bank.
Users are asked never to click on links because they are accessing cloned websites, and never to disclose personal data such as PINs or passwords. AIB will not send text messages containing links, and victims of fraud are asked to change their password and report it to Gardaí.
It is understood that the latest scam targeting AIB customers is “the best to date”, according to sources at the bank who have formed a team at headquarters in Dublin to target the illegal activity.
The Galway victim added: “I was horribly scared to see how incredibly easy it was to access our online accounts. Do not follow any links and trust anyone on your phone.