How To Check For Scams

Fraud awareness blog

Wait a sec, double check.

Your guide to staying safe from all kinds of scams.

As criminals get smarter and more devious, it gets easier to be taken in by texts, emails or websites that look genuine. The reality is that they can impersonate any organisation convincingly, from financial institutions like banks and investment companies, to shops, delivery companies and even health providers.

The reason they are so successful is that they send out a huge volume of fake communications every day, so for everyone who becomes a victim, there are far many more who have avoided the danger by taking the time to double check for warning signs like the ones listed here.

No padlock?

On a website the surest way to check if it’s genuine is to look for the padlock symbol to the left of the web address and if it’s not there, beware. In emails and messages though, there are far more things you need to look out for. We’ve listed some of the most common ones here for you to keep in mind the next time you receive something you suspect might be fake.


What’s that number?

If it’s coming from an unknown number or email address it’s best to ignore it and assume that it is a scam. If however, it appears to be from your own bank or a delivery company it could still be fake so you’ll need to check for something else suspicious.

Is that an o or a 0?

Check the email address for minor misspellings that might be easy to miss - has the letter o been replaced with a zero, for example? These email addresses are easy to fake so always, always check.

Nothing is that urgent!

Are you being asked to do something in a hurry like pay a customs charge on a package to avoid it being returned? Genuine suppliers won’t do this.

You can’t ask for that.

No genuine organisation will ask you for information like this but if you really want to double check you can contact the sender on an email address or phone number you have used before.

What’s the danger?

Criminals often try to impersonate your bank, telling you that your account has been compromised and urging you to take action before you lose everything. This is always a scam - your bank would never do that.

Don’t click, just don’t.

Although delivery companies may sometimes text you a link to track a parcel, they will never ask you to pay customs or any other charges by clicking on a link.

Equally no bank will ever ask for you to supply banking or personal information through a link.

Remember - clicking on a link can potentially take you to a cloned website designed to get personal information from you that will help criminals to steal your money. Links can also lead you to download malware that will help them to access your data.

The problem is that it is difficult to know if a link is fake just by looking at it. The only way to be sure is to contact the sender on a legitimate email address or phone number to check.


At AIB we’re supporting our customers to help avoid scams and frauds. If you receive a text message or email that you think is a scam, please click here to send it to us.