Gardaí Warn Public About Social Media Enabled Fraud

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GARDAI at the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau are warning members of the public to be aware of ‘Social Media’ enabled Fraud.

As in all frauds, the goal of the fraudster is to deceive victims into parting with their money or to reveal access details to their bank accounts or credit cards.

The most recent fraud reported is targeting customers of a banking institution via advertisements on Facebook.

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• The advertisement refers to internet banking and invites the customer to take a tour of the system for a small reward (€15 or €30)
• The customer clicks on the link, to a ‘Fake’ log in page.
• The customer enters their login details – these details are now in the hands of the Fraudster.
• The Fraudster takes control of the account, and sets up a new ‘Beneficiary’ on the account, to whom money can be transferred
• The customers will receive an automated text or SMS from the bank, with a code to authorise the addition of the ‘Beneficiary’ to the account.
• The customer will then enter the code into the ‘Fake’ account which is captured by the Fraudsters, or intercepted via malware on a computer, laptop or mobile phone.

The bank account can then be emptied within minutes. The warning signs include,
• Social Media advertisements offering ‘rewards’ to people, who must take some action that will reveal their Bank account details or Credit Card numbers and access codes to same
• To get the ‘reward’, the customer must click on a link in the advertisements that will bring them to their bank log in page
• The customer is then required to login to their bank account in order to get the ‘reward’, thus revealing their log in details and password or pin number or other code

Detective Chief Superintendent Lordan of the GNECB warns the public to ‘stop and think’.

• Be very wary of advertisements offering a ‘reward’ that leads you to a situation where you have to reveal your financial details, even if it appears to be a genuine Bank website
• Do not click on links in the advertisement
• Check with the bank or other organisation apparently offering the ‘reward’ by searching for that bank or organisation online and independently of the link in the advertisement.
• If the genuine website is not clearly offering the advertisement for a ‘reward’ – the social media advertisement is a fraud. Your money has been protected by a simple check.

Detective Chief Superintendent Lordan would also like to remind the public to never share banking details, pin numbers or passwords with unknown persons online, by text, SMS, over the phone or any other way.

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