Government warns public of Covid-19 unemployment payment text message scam
Don’t get caught out.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has warned members of the public to be wary of a text message scam telling recipients they are entitled to the Covid-19 unemployment payment of €350 a week.
The department has become aware that some members of the public have received text messages from an unknown number informing them that they are entitled to the payment and to click on a link provided to ‘socialwelfareireland’.
If and when the recipient of the text message clicks on the link, they are then asked to provide their bank account details.
Members of the public have been advised that the text message is a scam, that it has nothing to do with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and not to click on the link or reply to the text.
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection said it wishes to make it absolutely clear that it never requests details of bank accounts or other financial institution accounts from customers by phone or on social media, nor does it clarify or check this information over the phone.
Bank account information is only accepted as part of a written application to the department.
In a statement, the department said it also wanted to ensure that customers and the public are made aware of this scam activity and that they keep their bank and other financial account information safe.
Anyone who thinks they provided personal information in response to these fraudulent text messages should contact their bank immediately.
As of Monday (15 June), 498,700 people received the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 a week, a reduction of 18,900 from the previous week.