Warning over ‘Eircom’ scam targeting landline phones

Callers alleging to be from ‘Eircom’ say broadband will be cut unless steps are taken

Eir said phishing and impersonation scams are global issues that have recently ‘become more common across Europe’. Photograph: iStock

Eir said phishing and impersonation scams are global issues that have recently ‘become more common across Europe’. Photograph: iStock

 

A scam targeting landline phones claiming to be “Eircom” has hit households in recent days.

A number of people have taken to social media complaining of a scam where a caller to their landline alleges to be “Eircom” and says their broadband will go in the next 24 hours unless they act and to press the number one on their handset to continue. Eircom became Eir in 2015, following a €16 million rebranding project.

Eir said phishing and impersonation scams are global issues that have recently “become more common across Europe”.

“Phishing is certainly not a problem that is confined to Irish operators and trusted business names such as Eir are often used by fraudsters because people are familiar with the company,” an Eir spokeswoman said.

“The modus operandi of the caller is to pretend to be a representative of a legitimate company and to then persuade the individual to divulge personal and/or financial information or to click on a web link to download software that may compromise the customer’s computer.

“Generally the fraudster does not actually have your number; rather they use an autodialler to call hundreds of random numbers automatically.”

Eir said its advice is to not respond to calls from an unknown source, never disclose any information and never visit web pages provided by the caller.

They also said to hang up if you hear an automated message upon answering a call asking you to press a number.

“If you have provided bank account or credit card details please contact your bank immediately to advise that your banking details may have been compromised,” the company added.

ComReg, the Commission for Communications Regulation, said scam calls “can take on many forms” and therefore advises customers to be “vigilant at all times”.

“We would advise consumers that returning calls to unknown international numbers can be costly and we advise consumers to exercise caution when they receive a missed call from such numbers,” a spokesman said.

“Unfortunately there is no way to identify a scam call number, and they can resemble a very normal, familiar, geographical or international number that we would come across on a daily basis,” he said.