Common Frauds and Threats
Our Online Banking services are a safe and convenient way to manage your finances, but you need to take care to guard against Internet and other types of fraudsters. It is important that you are aware of potential fraud attempts that originate from the Internet and other methods.
Remember your personal information and key banking details, are the prime targets of internet fraudsters and you should protect them as you would your valuable possessions, so think before you click.
Click on the headings below to find information on the most common frauds and threats:
Text Message Fraud
Text Message Fraud is a common technique used by fraudsters in an attempt to obtain your personal and business banking and card information for the purpose of identity theft or financial gain. The fraudsters send text messages that appear to come from your bank or from legitimate businesses in an attempt to fool you into supplying your banking details.These text messages can appear within a genuine thread of messages, and will request you to log in to a fake website or to call a number. This type of scam can be referred to as ‘SMiShing’.AIB may on occasion, send you product related or marketing surveys via SMS. It is important to note that these text messages will NEVER ask you for Internet Business Banking log in details or personal information.
This type of fraud is on the increase and it's important that you take the necessary steps to protect your money. Criminals are sending emails in an attempt to trick you in to transferring money to them.These types of scams are referred to as ‘Phishing’.Examples of the types of emails include:
You should not accept any financial instructions via email. You should always VERIFY ACCOUNT NUMBERS on a known contact number with your Supplier/ Manager/ Director/ Senior Staff Member / Staff Member.NEVER use the phone number contained in the email to verify the account details as this may be fraudulent.If you make and authorise a payment to one of these fraudulent accounts, it is highly unlikely that AIB will be able to get your money back for you.Ensure that all your iBB Users are aware of these threats and that they should report any suspicious activity immediately.For more information on how to stay safe, visit www.fraudsmart.ie.
- Emails claiming to be from your Supplier or contractor advising that they have changed their bank account details. These emails will request that all current and future payments should be made to a new account, which actually belongs to the criminal.
- Emails that appear to come from your Manager / Director / Senior Staff Member within the company. The email will request that the recipient makes a payment to an account number given in the email and may imply some urgency, which is not the case. This account number actually belongs to the criminal.
- Emails received in to HR or Accounts team requesting a change of account number for a staff member’s salary.
Investment Fraud / Binary Options
Investment Fraud is one way criminals can steal your money. They try to convince you to invest in a scheme, shares or commodities, which either don’t exist, or aren’t worth the money paid for them. These scams are common and are usually perpetrated through aggressive sales tactics. They’re well organised and very convincing. Scammers will target anyone who responds to them and build trusting relationships with their victims over a period of time. Unfortunately, many of these scams are successful. There are many types of scams fraudsters use to persuade you to part with your money.If somebody contacts you out of the blue by phone offering you the opportunity to invest in shares that are about to go through the roof - hang up immediately. Do not respond to unexpected emails or click on adverts across social media or online. The criminals may have researched you and appear to know a lot about you. These criminals will do their homework and make it their business to know as much about you as possible before they contact you. They will give you details that you think only a genuine investment company would know, such as a previous investment or share information. Watch out for offers endorsed by celebrities, these endorsements are totally false. Be cautious where the rate of return is very high and often advertised as guaranteed or risk-free.These criminals will attempt to build a relationship over time. And watch out! An initial small investment may actually produce some returns before you are encouraged to invest a larger amount. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be from a well-known company, check them out independently with the company, look up the company on Google and ring the contact details on the website, not the number you have been given by the caller.The caller may ask you to download software to your PC which will provide them unlimited access along with the ability take control of your PC and manipulate the images you are being shown on screen. They will say they are helping you to make a payment and will ask for login information to your AIB online banking along with security codes from your card reader/Digipass. Others will request payments to be made via Debit/Credit card. Never provide one time pass codes received via SMS. NEVER give codes from your card reader/Digipass on foot of a phone call. Never provide login or card information on foot of a phone call. Some of the scams ask you to buy Bitcoin or a cryptocurrency to invest in the scheme. They will set up accounts for you within these companies. Do not provide photo ID, Proof of address without verifying the legitimacy of the caller.Remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it certainly is!Always remember:
If your investment or transfer turns out to be fraud, it is very unlikely that AIB will be able to recoup the fund.
- Check if the company is authorised (by a financial regulator) to deal in such investments
- The Central Bank of Ireland advises that Consumers should take the SAFE test before making any financial decisions or providing any personal information:
S – Stop: Stop, think and ask yourself – What? Who? Why? Do I feel rushed to act?
A – Assess: Make sure the firm is legitimate
F – Factcheck: seek advice to ensure service or product is genuine
E - Expose and report: any concerns contact the Central Bank
- The Central Bank’s website includes a list of unauthorised firms in respect of which the Central Bank has published warning notices. You will note that these warning notices relate to firms that purport to be based in Ireland and in other jurisdictions. However, please also note that there may be unauthorised firms that have not yet come to the attention of the Central Bank. Members of the public can report alleged instances of unauthorised activity through the Central Bank’s website or directly by telephone.
Details for making reports are contained at https://www.centralbank.ie/regulation/how-we-regulate/authorisation/unauthorised-firms.
- The Financial Conduct Authority in the UK also have a website where you can check investment firms at https://www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart/warning-list
If the firm isn't on the Warning List. Even if a firm isn't on the Warning List, it might still be a scam. You should check it's an authorised firm on the Financial Services Register. Even if it's on the FS Register, it might still be a 'clone firm' pretending to be a genuine firm and you should do more checks.
- Get Independent advice from a qualified financial advisor
- Report any unsolicited contacts to An Garda Síochána / Police
- Reject cold calls. If you have been cold called about an investment opportunity, it is very likely that it is a high risk investment or SCAM
- Do not respond to high pressure tactics
- Do not divulge any of your personal or banking information prior to verifying the caller independently. If you have provided any information, contact us immediately
- Persistent emails can be marked as spam and block unwanted emails
If you would like to get in touch, please check the Contact Us section to get appropriate details.
- Check if the company is authorised (by a financial regulator) to deal in such investments
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are popular investments. Like everything popular, they attract scams.Fraud in cryptocurrency investment is on the rise.Here are some tips on how to be vigilant and to help keep you safe:What to look out for:Someone calls who:
It’s a scam. End the call. Don’t trust; don’t invest.
- Seems to know about you (they use social media)
- Promises big returns and offering to help you get them,
- Calls or emails unexpectedly with a sense of urgency
- You are hurried into making a decision.
- You are asked to keep an investment opportunity a secret.
- Make sure you're happy that a website is genuine and that there are no online warnings about it before you log on.
- Fake sites may ask you to pay in multiple ways.
Websites, ads with great deals:
Check if the site has a number to call. Call it to verify.Look for the closed padlock image address bar at the top of your screen - this lets you know that the link to a site is secure.A secure site will also have https:// at the start of its address. But remember, these do not mean a site is genuine.
- If it looks too good to be true, it is too good to be true. Many investment promises are fake.
- Make sure you're happy with a site before you log on.
- Fake sites may ask you to pay in multiple ways.
If it's a scam, you will not get your money back.
- The Banking and Payments Federation Ireland have a website fraudsmart.ie that provides useful security awareness information.
- The Central Bank of Ireland provides advice on their website at https://www.centralbank.ie/regulation/how-we-regulate/authorisation/unauthorised-firms/avoiding-scams-and-unauthorised-activity
- In the UK there is a service available from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) - The FCA site has a register of companies who are allowed to offer products and services. It also gives advice on how to spot a scam and avoid fake companies. You can go to the FCA here.
These scams are when an individual calls you claiming to be from the Bank, or a company providing a service and requests financial and/or personal and security information.
- This type of scam is referred to as 'Vishing', which is a combination of ‘voice’ and 'phishing'. It is typically used to steal credit card numbers or gain access to your Internet Business Banking.
The phone number displayed on your handset may appear to be a genuine Bank or Company phone number but these can be mimicked by criminals.
If you suspect any fraudulent activity from any call you receive, you should end the call and verify the identity of the caller using a known number.Some of the scams currently in circulation are where customers have received fraudulent calls claiming to:
- Assist them with claiming a tax rebate
- Be a law enforcement official asking them to assist with preventing a crime
- Be a Utility Company: e.g. Telephone/Mobile phone provider, Broadband provider, Software company offering to “fix” PC or broadband problems
- Having unauthorised transactions on your card or account
- Offering a refund or to cancel a subscription
The callers may ask you to download an application to give them access to your PC. They will also attempt to trick you into divulging your banking or card credentials and provide codes from your Digipass in order to access your online banking and make fraudulent payments.NEVER disclose codes from your Digipass over the phone.NEVER disclose your log on details for iBB.NEVER give access to you PC/Phone on foot of an unexpected call.If you have received such a call and disclosed any of your Banking details please contact us immediately.
Phone Scam - Cards
AIB have been notified of a Phone Scam currently targeting our customers. Reports received to the Bank indicate that:
- Fraudulent calls have been targeting customers trying to persuade them that their AIB Credit / Debit Card have been compromised
- These scams will usually request a transfer of funds or disclosure of card/account details
- Other variants of the fraudulent calls involve the customer’s account being over credited and that the customer must transfer money back to a third party account
- Some fraudulent callers are also advising that the customer’s branch will not be aware of this call, because it is being handled by a third party.
AIB would ask that customers be aware of such calls, because they are not genuine.The scam is referred to as ‘Vishing’, which is a combination of ‘voice’ and ‘phishing’.If you suspect that a call may be fraudulent, hang up and call the AIB Card Services Team on 01 6685500.
To assist in identifying such calls please be aware that:
- AIB will never call you to ask for a refund of credit in this manner, and
- AIB will not request for a transfer to any third party accounts,
- ·AIB will not request the One Time Passcodes to process refunds / credits, and
- You should never disclose the One Time Passcode that AIB sends via SMS to a third party.
If you suspect a call may be fraudulent, hang up and call the phone number on the back of your card, or your local branch for verification.
Fraudulent emails are a common technique used by fraudsters in an attempt to obtain personal and security information for the purpose of identity theft or financial gain. The fraudsters use email messages that appear to come from Financial Institutions or a legitimate business in an attempt to fool you into supplying your personal and business banking or card details. Financial institutions are frequently targeted by these types of attacks, which are referred to as ‘Phishing’.AIB may on occasion send you product related or marketing surveys via email. It is important to note that these mails will NEVER ask you for personal or banking information.
Purchase Scams – Buying online
When shopping online, you need to be aware that some of these companies are not legitimate. Fraudsters can spoof/clone a genuine website. They advertise using images of genuine products but at a cheaper price. The goods are never actually available for sale. These cloned sites often have contact details via email only. Phone lines won’t be answered but will be followed up with a call from a private number. These fraudsters will tell you they can only accept a transfer via your bank transfer.Examples of products that fraudsters are ‘selling’ include machinery, motor homes and boats.Ensure you buy goods and equipment from reputable retailers and sellers.Before making a payment ensure you have researched the validity of the company.Ask yourself ‘How do I know this person/company is genuine?’. If the price or description of the product sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Malware (Trojans and Viruses)
Malware is short for ‘malicious software’. The effects of malware can vary widely depending on what it is designed to do. Some cause little or no damage, while others can be very dangerous and deliberately target customers who bank online.Banking specific malware can gather personal or security information entered on the infected PC / laptop / phone. Such malware can gain access to the device when the user is tricked into opening or running an infected attachment they have received from a seemingly legitimate email, through an infected file they have downloaded or by visiting an infected website.You may have seen reports in the press regarding current threats from sophisticated malware. Although these threats are serious, you can do simple things to protect yourself:
- Be suspicious about any emails you are not expecting, even from trusted sources
- Do not click on links contained in emails
- Make sure that you set your PC to update the Operating System and your Malware protection automatically
How do you know that you are under attack?
REMEMBER: Always check that the Beneficiary details for payments you are authorising are legitimate or really do belong to the person you want to pay.
- Fake iBB screens or pop-up windows asking you to key details into your iBB Digipass
- Your PC slows down while using iBB - particularly at log on
- Suspicious phone calls are received purporting to be from AIB regarding iBB; asking you to create codes on your Digipass, perform test payments and/or authorise payments
- AIB will never ask you to do this!
This is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system (PC, laptop, mobile, tablet), either by locking the system’s screen or by locking the users file, unless a ransom is paid.If your computer has been locked by ransomware, you should seek professional advice from a trustworthy source.The “No More Ransom” website is an initiative by the National Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre and two cyber security companies – Kaspersky Lab and Intel Security – with the goal to help victims of ransomware retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals – https://www.nomoreransom.org/
SIM Swap Fraud
What is SIM Swap Fraud?The objective of these fraudulent SIM swaps is mainly to intercept messages sent by SMS for banking transactions over the Internet.Fraudulent SIM swap is a mobile device specific fraud where the fraudster approaches your mobile service provider pretending to be you and requests that the existing mobile number be assigned to a new or ’replacement’ SIM card. Once the SIM swap request has been processed, the fraudster is able to access the new SIM card and may divert calls and receive your SMS notifications. With texts and calls now routed to the ‘new’ SIM card, the fraudster is able to access any unique codes sent by the bank to access people’s bank account. This scam will be used in conjunction with other Common Frauds and Threats such as a Phishing or Vishing attack’s as described above.To safeguard against SIM swap fraud, we suggest that you follow these simple steps to help stay secure:
If you suspect that you have been a victim of SIM swap fraud, contact your mobile provider immediately.
- Never disclose any sensitive or personal information such as log in details, bank details, passwords or passcodes to any source
- Never ignore an SMS message alerting you to a pending SIM swap request on your account or if you suddenly cannot make or receive calls or messages. Contact your mobile provider immediately and enquire whether a SIM swap has been processed on your number
- Protect your mobile device via password (use strong passwords that would not be easy to guess) or biometric security (fingerprint). Where possible, set the screen auto-lock timer to activate after just a few minutes of inactivity
- Disable automatic connections. Some devices automatically allow connections to available Wi-Fi networks, and Bluetooth devices may connect and transmit data without your knowledge
- Consider using your manufacturer’s applications which allow you to find and track your device if lost. These applications also give you the option of locking or wiping your phone remotely if required
- Do not open emails from unknown sources – even if these appear legitimate or authentic and seem to come from your banking institution
- Never follow a link provided to you in an email to access the Internet Banking site for your banking institution. Instead physically type the address into the browser address bar.’
Adware and Pop-up Windows
Pop-up windows are the small windows or adverts that can appear suddenly over or under a browser window. Pop-up windows can be used to obtain personal information from an unsuspecting user. Fraudsters can also use fake ads to fool you into visiting a fake website and supplying personal details.Please note: pop-up windows can be legitimately used by some websites/offerings such as ’Verified by Visa’ and ’MasterCard SecureCode’.