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Scam alert Cork Gardaí issue fresh text fraud warnings as €5k is taken from victim’s bank account

On this occasion a person responded to a text message and handed over PIN details

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Fresh warnings have been issued for people to be careful after €5,000 was taken out of a person’s bank account after responding to a text message.

Gardai are investigating this latest fraud incident which is one of six reported in the Bandon district in the past week, along with four made the previous week.

On this occasion a person responded to a text message and handed over PIN details for their bank account, enabling the fraudsters to remove €5,000 from the account.

Gardaí say the fraud was committed outside the State.

Superintendent Brendan Fogarty said: “Be very careful – nobody should be asking you for your PIN numbers or other bank details

“She followed the link in the text message and input bank details on to what she believed was her bank's website.

Just two weeks ago we revealed how one woman fell for a banking scam that saw €3,000 fraudulently taken from her account.

The woman who in her 30s told gardai that the theft occurred after she received a text message which she believed was from her bank.

Divisional crime prevention officer Sergeant Ber Leetch said the text claimed that a number of attempts had been made to log into her account.

“She followed the link in the text message and input bank details on to what she believed was her bank's website," Sergeant Leetch said, according to the Limerick Leader.

She then received a phone call from a Dublin number a short time later and was tricked into believing that this was her bank.

"She provided information in relation to her credit and debit card,” Sergeant Leetch added.

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“This entire conversation lasted over an hour but the lady genuinely thought that she was onto her bank and that her account was being protected.

“However, later the same day she checked her account and realised that €3,000 had been removed from it. She had been the victim of a scam," said Sgt Leetch.

And last month gardaí issued a warning to the public to be aware of a scam that involves text messages urging people to book an appointment for a Covid-19 test.

Unsuspecting recipients click on a link in the text that brings them to a cloned website where the fraudsters will seek their personal information.

This can include their PPS number and payment for the fake Covid-19 test or vaccine.

Gardai have reminded the public that the HSE will never look for payment for Covid-19 tests or vaccinations and that people should be wary of such text messages.

“In most instances the supplied links look very similar to the authentic HSE URL but may be misspelled,” gardai said in a statement.

“There are also other ‘smishing’ texts being received and these can purport to be from service providers, revenue, banks and/or delivery businesses.

“Some can fit into the threads of previously received genuine texts which adds an air of authenticity to them."

An Garda Síochána's advice to the public is as follows:

- Never click on a link of an unsolicited text, email or respond to cold callers seeking personal information.

- Do not use reply or call the number supplied by these texts.

- Never give away personal data like PIN number, card numbers, passwords, one time codes, PPS numbers.

- The HSE will never text you seeking payment for Covid-19 tests or vaccines.

- If you have responded to such a text or paid the scammers, contact your bank immediately for a recall.

- It is also important to report the matter to your local Garda Station.

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