Don't get caught out by these fake texts/emails when shopping online this Christmas 1 month ago

Don't get caught out by these fake texts/emails when shopping online this Christmas

Brought to you by Bank of Ireland

If you're concerned about keeping your online banking safe over the festive period and beyond, we've got you covered.


Christmas is nearly upon us and many of us are shopping online, trying our best to stay safe and healthy so we can spend quality time with family ahead of the New Year.

While both shopping and online banking are generally safe, there are cyber criminals out there looking to exploit any opportunity they can to line their pockets with our cash.

Keeping your bank account details safe is important throughout the year, but especially at a time when we're filling stockings and thinking of gift ideas for our loved ones.

Bank of Ireland want to reassure their customers that they will never send you a text or an email with a link asking for your full 365 PIN, one-time passcodes, or full online banking login, and they will never call you and ask for these details.

According to research commissioned by Bank of Ireland, more than half (55%) of us have received a fraudulent email, SMS or call claiming to be from our bank.

With more than 90% of us now shopping online as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and 62% of us worried about being targeted by online fraudster, here's what we need to look out for.

Phishing emails


These are emails pretending to be from your bank, credit card or another company you trust asking you to click on a link or open an attachment. They may ask you for personal details, such as your username, full PIN or credit card number. They will often make urgent threats and try to scare you into providing your details. This is where the delete button comes in very handy.

Smishing texts

online banking

These are texts that you receive pretending to be from your bank, credit card or another company you trust. These texts include links to fraudulent websites that may look like the real thing, but Bank of Ireland will never send you a text with a link to a site that asks you for your full 365Online PIN or one-time passcodes.

With so many of us shopping online and expecting home deliveries, fraudsters might also try to trick you by sending a text that looks like it is from a delivery company asking you to click a link to confirm some details or to pay a small charge. These texts are fake so delete them and don’t click the link.


Vishing calls

You need to be very careful if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Bank of Ireland or another financial institution. If someone asks you for your bank account details or your card details, hang up and block the number.

Card and ATM safety

Some tips:

  • Avoid letting your card out of sight when using it to pay for goods and services.
  • When making a contactless payment, make sure you check that the amount you are paying is correct before tapping your card on the payment device.
  • Always cover your card PIN when entering it on the keypad in a shop or supermarket and make sure no-one is looking over your shoulder.
  • Do not choose a card PIN that might be easily guessed e.g. your date of birth, numbers in descending or ascending order, e.g 5432 or 1234, or four of the same numbers, like 1111.
  • When using an ATM, make sure nobody is trying to distract you or standing too close to you when entering your PIN.
  • Never, ever, EVER share your PIN with anyone.

This is a very handy guide for more tips.

Using public Wi-Fi

If you're accessing public Wi-Fi, you won't always know who has set up the network or who is connected to it. Malicious users could intercept anything you are doing online including capturing your passwords and reading private emails.


Protect your devices

online banking

If you click a suspicious link, either via email, text or pop-up, you are potentially allowing harmful malware to infect your device. Follow this guide for all the information you need to keep your technology safe.

Use strong passwords safely

It's important that you don't use the same password across all forms of social media and online shopping. Create strong passwords for different services and be sure to keep them safe.

There are a lot of scams out there, but Bank of Ireland have put together these guidelines to keep you and your money as safe as possible over the festive season so there's no need to worry.

Security Zone is Bank of Ireland’s online hub for guidance on how to protect yourself from fraud.

For more information, visit

Brought to you by Bank of Ireland