Gardaí issue warning about a phone scam from people who claim to fix broadband services
Don't get caught out.
An Garda Síochána, in association with FraudSMART, a fraud awareness initiative led by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), are advising consumers to be on the alert to a phone scam in which fraudsters claim to be calling from utility companies pretending that there are issues with the customer’s broadband service.
In a warning issued on Tuesday, Gardaí made a number of points that could help you identify the potential scam, as well as a list of things to look out for:
- They pretend to be a utility company: e.g. telephone/mobile phone provider, broadband provider or software company calls offering to "fix” computer or broadband problems. The caller will attempt to trick you into revealing your banking or card details and providing codes from your card reader to access your online banking and make fraudulent payments.
- You may be asked to allow the caller to take remote control of your computer to "assist" you, however this could allow the fraudster to show you fraudulent screens.
- The callers are professional and will be able to transfer you to their "supervisor” should you request this. They sound genuine.
FraudSMART also issued advice to help people avoid getting caught out by the scam:
- Never give out personal information until you have checked that the caller is a genuine representative of the organisation they claim to be from. Advise the caller you will call them back once you have checked their identity.
- Looking up the organisation’s phone number using a phone book or website and calling the number yourself directly. Make sure you hear a dial tone before you dial. Do not use a number the caller has given to you as this could be a fake number.
- Don’t assume you can trust caller ID. Fraudsters can spoof a number, so it looks like they are calling from a particular company or bank, even when they are not.
- Remember it takes two people to terminate a landline phone call, you can use a different phone line to independently check the caller’s identity or at least make sure you hear a dial tone before you call anyone.
- Fraudsters may have basic information about you in their possession (e.g. name, address etc), do not assume the caller is genuine because they have this information.
Gardaí have asked anyone with any information about the scam to visit their local Garda station.