Public urged to be wary of sophisticated Revolut scam in operation in Ireland
Gardaí have issued a warning to the public following details of a Revolut-focused scam doing the rounds.
Speaking to Patricia Messinger on C103's Cork Today Show on Thursday (27 January), Sgt John Kelly of Fermoy Garda Station noted that the new year has brought little decrease in fraud scams.
One such example currently in operation concerns phone calls claiming to be on behalf of Eir tech support, informing the person on the other end that their Internet quality is down and needs to be upgraded.
Once in conversation, the scammer asks people to download the TeamViewer app onto their mobile device.
Although a perfectly legitimate app, TeamViewer allows the user to access another individual's mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop device.
Should the targeted individual permit this to take place, the scammer subsequently instructs them to download the Revolut app and transfer a sum of money from their bank account.
In these cases, the scammers tend to ask for bank details and a copy of the individual's driving licence.
"Using the copy of the driving licence provided by the injured party and their bank account details, they set up a Revolut account and transferred probably in the region of €4,000 out of their account," said Kelly in reference to one specific recent incident in Cork.
"Short and simple – if you receive a call from somebody claiming to be from Eir or whoever and they're going into dealing with your bank account details and they're telling you to install something on your phone or on your computer, just terminate the call straight away," he added.
Sgt Kelly explained that the process of talking people through how to install an app like Revolut in order to defraud them represents a new element previously unseen in such scams.
"If you want to put an app on a phone, let it be an app that you want to put in, not somebody ringing you telling you to put it on," he said.
"People should be very, very wary of taking phone calls," Kelly added.
"Maybe they're thriving on the fact that getting through to a person in a genuine bank can be very difficult. And you know what? Hang up. If they want you, they can write to you."
Sgt Kelly said that scams of this nature have "grown exponentially over the last couple of years" in Ireland and urged the public to understand that their financial information can be easily accessible.
"You have to treat the virtual world as your other front door," he said.
"It's just not the fraudulent caller calling to your physical front door on the street or in an estate anymore.
"They could be anywhere in the world and they are able to manipulate you – it's like a good salesperson that can sell you anything."