Fraudsters target two-thirds of Irish adults every year

New initiative aims to highlight problem and offer advice to businesses and customers

A  survey shows that 61 per cent of Irish people have experienced email scams, the most common form of attack. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A survey shows that 61 per cent of Irish people have experienced email scams, the most common form of attack. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

 

Fraudsters target almost two-thirds of Irish adults every year with scams involving email, phone and other methods, according to a survey published on Monday to coincide with the start of Fraud Awareness Week.

The new initiative, supported by the Banking & Payments Federation of Ireland, aims to highlight the problem and offer advice to businesses and consumers.

Fraudsters target both groups every year. A federation survey shows that 61 per cent of Irish people have experienced email scams, the most common form of attack.

Of those targeted, 39 per cent say phone scams were used, 37 per cent say they have encountered text schemes, while 31 per cent have experienced other approaches online.

The federation is launching a new website, Fraudsmart.ie, this week that will provide information for people who want to prevent fraud and protect themselves against it.

Concerned

Niamh Davenport, fraud awareness and payments manager with the federation, said that nearly 40 per cent of adults are concerned about fraud in their everyday lives, while almost half claim to know someone who has been affected by it.

“Given the advances and reliance on technology, it is no surprise that fraudsters are getting more sophisticated and creative,” she said. “Fraud can happen to anyone at any time. But, generally, simple precautions can be taken to protect people against getting caught out.

“That’s why we have launched our new initiative, Fraudsmart, as part of Ireland’s first Fraud Awareness Week,” she added.

Concern about fraud is higher among those aged 55 and over. More than 90 per cent of this group check bank statements.

However, large numbers of younger people take risks such as checking their bank accounts using public wifi, while around one in five allow cards to be taken out of sight when paying for something.

The steps taken by consumers to avoid fraud include never clicking on email links, following their own instincts and not opening or downloading email attachments.