Identifying Text Scams
15 Dec 2022
How do I spot a text scam?
Let’s face it, while a lot of scams are really easy to spot, plenty more are not. According to a report published in November 2022, almost €45 million was stolen from people in Ireland through scams and frauds in the second half of 2021, a jump of 50% on the same period in the previous year.
How they win your confidence
Another name for a scam is a confidence trick so called because they are designed to win your confidence, so you believe what they’re saying and agree to do what they want. Of course, the easiest way to win your confidence is to look legitimate and, as the criminals get smarter, they are getting better at doing just that.
They are trained and have pre prepared scripts of security questions that banks ask. They text to say they will ring and do so. They can send spoofed text messages that appear in an existing thread from your bank.
In other words, just because that message looks like it comes from your bank, that may not be the case.
If they’re that good, how can you tell if it’s real or fake?
Look at what they are asking you to do.
The most important thing to remember is that no legitimate supplier, whether that’s your bank or a delivery company or something else, will ever ask you to supply your online banking information or passwords by text.
Look to see if they are putting you under pressure
Making it seem like something bad will happen if you don’t act quickly e.g. ‘We will freeze your account unless you click here now!’ or ‘a delivery fee is due on your parcel. If it’s not paid IMMEDIATELY the parcel will be returned to sender’, is a good sign that it’s a scam - legitimate businesses don’t operate like that.
Look for unusual links.
If you still think there is a chance it’s real, then take a look at the link - most legitimate links will follow a straightforward format without additional words or punctuation marks like aib-auth-id-20.com
And if you do click on a link by mistake?
Look for the little padlock and the https - without both of these, it’s not secure
At AIB we’re supporting our customers to help avoid scams and frauds, so if you do receive a text message that you think is a scam, please click here https://aib.ie/security-centre/contact-us/fraud-form to send it to us.