Gardaí have warned the public to be aware of social media fraud, after a recent scam targeted customers of a banking institution via advertisements on Facebook.
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 login page where they enter their login details. These details are then in the hands of the fraudster, who takes control of the account and sets up a new beneficiary, to whom money can be transferred.
Customers will receive an automated text 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,” gardaí said.
“The bank account can then be emptied in minutes.”
Gardaí said 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.
Detective chief superintendent Pat Lordan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) said members of the public should not click on links in the advertisements.
He said to check with the bank or other organisations that are apparently offering the “reward” by searching for the institution 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,” he said. “Your money has been protected by a simple check.”
Detective chief superintendent Lordan also reminded 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.
“Trust your instincts – if it sounds like it is too good to be true, it is probably not true,” he added. “Never download or install a file from an unknown or suspicious source. If in doubt, don’t do it.”