Topic: Security February 2, 2020
Author: Neil Cubley

How to spot phone scams

Bank of Ireland Security
5 MIN READ

When fraudsters phone they’re usually pretending to be from a company you trust.

They want to scam you into giving them your bank or card details or to get you to install software that will capture them.

And they can sometimes sound very convincing.

So what are the tell-tale signs you should watch out for to avoid being scammed?

And how do you keep your finances safe?

Here are some of the most common things that fraudsters say when they phone and how to respond.

Bank of Ireland Security Zone1 Some unusual transactions on your bank account

Your phone rings.

It’s a call you were not expecting from your bank or your credit card provider.

The person phoning tells you that they work for the security or the fraud team which sounds plausible enough.

They tell you that they’ve noticed some strange transactions on your account.

Maybe they tell you about them to make them sound convincing.

The transactions usually turn out to be for things you obviously didn’t buy or for services in countries you’ve no connection to.

The caller says that they want to help you. They can get the transactions stopped.

But they need to act fast.

So you have only a short time to respond (a typical tactic of fraudsters).

All they need is for you to confirm some of your account or card details so that they can sort this out for you right away…

What should you do?

Hang up, this is a fraudster calling.

Bank of Ireland may sometimes phone you about genuine suspicious transactions (it’s far more usual for us to text you) but we will never ask for your account details.

We might ask you to confirm that you are the accountholder by saying ‘am I speaking to John Smith?’

If we ask you about a suspicious transaction, we usually ask simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions.

If you do give fraudsters your bank details, contact Bank of Ireland right away using the details below or get in touch with your credit card company using their published contact details.

Never use a phone number that the caller gives you.

And you might want to use a different phone from the one the fraudster called you on (especially if you call the bank or your credit card company).

Bank of Ireland Security Zone2 A fraudulent payment was made using your card

Your phone rings.

The caller says they are from your bank or credit card company and they are calling about a fraudulent payment.

Someone has used your credit card to transfer a large sum of money to another country using a well-known money transfer company.

It is often for around €1,200.

This sounds very worrying but don’t worry the caller says because they will ring the money transfer company now to try to get your money refunded.

Can you stay on the line while they make the call?

You might hear them pretending to chat with the money transfer company.

When they come back on the line, they tell you that the money transfer company has agreed to refund you but it will take a few weeks.

That doesn’t sound good can’t they do it any faster, you might ask.

They are able to do an immediate refund but only if the value is over €2,000, the caller says.

But the helpful caller has a solution.

If you go to your nearest Post Office and pay the €800 difference, the money transfer company promises to give you a full refund straight away…

What should you do?

Hang up, you’re speaking to a fraudster.

Bank of Ireland will never phone you to ask you to make a payment to another account.

Contact Bank of Ireland right away using the details below or your credit card company on their published contact details.

Never use a phone number that the caller gives you.

And you might want to use a different phone from the one the fraudster called you on (especially if you call the bank or your credit card company).

Bank of Ireland Security Zone3 There’s a problem with your broadband or PC

This time when the phone rings the caller claims to be from your broadband provider or from a well-known global software company.

They tell you that there’s a problem with your broadband that they need to fix right away.

They might say that if they do not fix it now you will be without broadband for a while.

That gets your attention.

If they are pretending to be from a well-known global software company, they may tell you that they have detected a virus that they need to sort out urgently.

Whatever the story, they ask you to download some kind of remote access software so that the caller can take control of your computer to sort everything out right away.

So you download the software to your computer.

The phone call continues and the caller pretends to be fixing the problem.

At the end, there’s a small charge for fixing things so quickly.

The caller will ask you to log on to your online banking to make the payment.

It’s not very much money so you start to enter your online banking login details.

But the software you downloaded will enable the caller to  record your banking credentials and use them to access your account in the future and potentially steal a lot more money.

What should you do?

Hang up, this is a scam.

Never download any software based on a phone call out of the blue.

To check if there really is an issue with your broadband, contact your internet provider using their published contact details.

Never use a phone number, email address or link that the caller gives you.

If you think the caller might have got hold of your Bank of Ireland bank account details, call us as soon as possible using the numbers below.

 

Check out our articles on what to do if you get a suspicious email or a suspicious text message.

Bank of Ireland Security Zone4 Following up on a comment you left on twitter or Facebook

Sometimes, fraudsters will read posts on your bank’s social media accounts to see if you have left a comment or a question.

That gives them an excuse to phone you.

The phone rings.

You caller says that they are phoning from your bank.

They say they got your message on social media and want to help you with your issue.

They want to sort things out as soon as possible.

But first they need you to confirm your online banking login details or your credit card details.

They might even read out the first 4 digits of your credit card number to convince you that they are genuine.

The first 4 digits of your 16-digit number are common to a large number of credit cards so they are guessing.

What should you do?

Hang up, you are speaking to a fraudster.

Bank of Ireland will never phone you out of the blue about a comment left on our social media channels.

We will ask you to send us a direct message on social media instead.

Remember: we will never ask you for all 6 digits of your 6-digit PIN number (we only ask for 3 of the 6 digits selected at random).

If you do give fraudsters your bank details, contact Bank of Ireland right away using the details below or your credit card company on their published contact details.

Never use a phone number that the caller gives you.

Bank of Ireland Security Zone5 You need to move your money to a ‘safe account’

Your phone rings.

The caller is someone claiming to be from your bank who tells you that fraudsters have been trying to get into your account.

The caller says that they urgently need to move the money in your account to a ‘safe account’ to prevent it being stolen.

But before they can do this, they need to confirm that you really are the accountholder.

The caller begins to ask you some standard bank security questions.

Can you confirm your online login details?

If you give them your details they use them immediately to transfer money out of your account.

The caller may end the call by asking you not to log in to your account for a few hours.

This is so you do not notice that money is missing.

What should you do?

Hang up, this is a scam.

Bank of Ireland will never ask you to transfer money to a ‘safe account’ or any other account.

Contact Bank of Ireland right away using the details below.

Never use a phone number that the caller gives you.

Never share one-time passwords

We will sometimes text you a one-time password that you can use to confirm an online transaction.

You might get one when you’re buying something online and you have to confirm that you are really the cardholder as part of a Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure Code check.

We might also send you a one-time password if you add a new payee on 365online, for example.

Fraudsters might phone you claiming to be from the bank and ask you to read them a recent password sent by text to you.

They might claim this is for security reasons or part of a regular check.

Giving them the code may help them to steal money from your card or account.

What should you do?

Hang up.

Never share a one-time password with anyone.

Ever.


What if I give phone fraudsters my account or card details?

Contact Bank of Ireland right away using the details below.

Republic of Ireland

Freephone: 1800 946 764 (personal and business)

Great Britain & Northern Ireland

Freephone: 0800 121 7790 (for 365 credit card customers)

Everywhere outside Republic of Ireland, Great Britain & Northern Ireland

Not Freephone + 353567757007


Find out more

Security Zone on the Bank of Ireland website has a wealth of information on how to beat the fraudsters.

You can also check out our articles on what to do if you get a suspicious email or a suspicious text message.

Topic: Security February 2, 2020
Author: Neil Cubley

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