Irish people are increasingly being targeted by text message scams designed to trick them into revealing their private details or parting with high value goods without payment. I have received two of these type of scam text messages this week alone!
The first one is the AIB scam text message that tries to direct them to a genuine looking website, such as aibsecure[dot]com or aibsecurity[dot]com, none of which are associated with the bank! This is a practice known as “phishing”. A spokesman for AIB confirmed it was seeing an increase in such attempts recently .
The second one I’ve received this week is the DoneDeal scam text message. After putting a item up for sale on DoneDeal.ie, I soon received a genuine looking text from a prospective buyer. After an exchange of emails the buyer claims to have the money for the item and wants the seller to send the item to an address in a foreign country, in my case Nigeria! Yes, alarm bells should be ringing! This scam is a subtle one because right up to this time the scammer tries to gain the sellers trust to get them to send the item without payment upfront, but alas, it would be the last time the item would ever be seen again.
So, beware of these scam text messages. Although text message phishing is much smaller than its email counterpart, there had been a handful of successful attempts. There is even a case where a victim lost up to € 30,000!
Anyone that receives these type of messages are advised to delete the messages immediately.