Gardaí warn of scam targeting AIB customers
There has been a 132% increase in the amounts of smishing reported to Gardaí for the first 20 days of January 2021 compared to the first 20 days of January, 2020.
An Garda Síochána and AIB are seeing a large increase in smishing attacks on Allied Irish Bank customers in the month of January, 2021.
The fraudsters are sending a text to a person purporting to be from AIB and advising the person to click a review or block a fraudulent transaction or advise the person that they have been locked out of their account.
The text will encourage the person to click on a link and asked to input codes from their card reader or divulge their One Time Passcode (OTP).
This information is sufficient for the fraudster to access the person’s account and transfer money out.
Gardaí and AIB would like to advise account holders, as follows:
• Never disclose their Registration Number or Personal Access Code (PAC) or card information after clicking a link on a text.
• Never generate codes from their AIB Card Reader to cancel transactions.
• Never divulge their One Time Passcode (OTP) to cancel transactions.
• AIB will never ask you not to log back into your account.
• AIB will never ask you to click on a link.
If anyone has received such a call or text message and have disclosed any information, they should contact AIB immediately. AIB customers can find out more information and advice from the bank's website.
Similar frauds may be perpetrated against customers of other banks and the same advice applies.
These frauds cannot occur without the co-operation of people who allow their accounts to be used – so called money mules.
Gardaí said: "Acting as a money mule is very serious offence. The offence is contrary to the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act, 2010 and carries a 14 year prison sentence.
"If you have been approached to allow your account to be used to receive money into it, do not do it. Do not withdraw or transfer any money than is lodged.
"It is stolen money and by doing so you are committing Money Laundering. Tell your parents, teacher, report it to your Bank and Gardaí. If you act as a money mule you will be arrested. Its your name, your ID what was used to open the account. Your card used to withdraw or transfer the money. It may even be your face on the CCTV withdrawing the money."