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Banking

AIB research shows 80% of people targeted by fraudsters in last year

AIB research shows 80% of people targeted by fraudsters in last year
Rob Flynn

Rob Flynn

Staff Writer

New research conducted by AIB has highlighted the increased importance of vigilance and awareness when it comes to preventing online fraud.

Advancements in technology have now touched every corner of society, helping to usher in breakthroughs in areas as diverse as medicine, right through to the stock market. 

The advent of online banking for consumers has also been one of the most life-changing technological advancements we have witnessed as a society to date.

From contactless card payments to trading stocks through apps, the limits of personal banking are boundless thanks to technology.

However, with the arrival of continued technological advancements, so too arrives a whole new set of challenges.

New research from AIB has revealed that a staggering four out of five people have been targeted by fraudsters within the last year.

With online safety becoming more important than ever, we take a look at the latest news from AIB in more detail below.

Online fraud

The new research from AIB, carried out by Amárach on its behalf, revealed that four in five people were targeted by fraudsters within the last year having received either a text, call, or email they believed to be fraudulent.

The research also disclosed that those over the age of 55 were more likely to be targeted, while 85% of this age group have reported receiving some form of fraudulent communication.

However, the research also revealed that it’s not only older customers who are being targeted. 80% of those between the ages of 18-34 have also reported receiving fraudulent communication in the past year.

According to industry data from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), last year fraud losses registered on consumers’ credit and debit cards amounted to the not-so-small amount of €22 million.

Meanwhile:

  • 33% received fraudulent communication from a bank or financial institution they were not a customer of.
  • 92% have seen advertising or messaging from their bank warning about the dangers of fraud.

Head of Digital Engagement at AIB, Sean Jevens said:

More people are shopping or making payments online as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions, and fraudsters have seized on this opportunity to send consumers fraudulent messages. The data shows an increase in activity by fraudsters trying to steal people’s money, which has seen four in five adults receiving either a text, call or email which was not genuine in the past year.

People can follow simple steps to ensure they are not the victim of fraud, including not clicking any links that may appear to come from their bank, hanging up on any calls they think are not genuine and ringing back a number only after checking it aligns with the number on the organisation’s website. Customers should never share their passwords, login details or one time pass codes with anyone, even their bank.

For more tips on how people can protect themselves you can visit www.aib.ie/security-centre.

Consumer awareness

The research also showed that 33% of people received a fraudulent communication from a bank or financial institution they were not a customer of.

However, it’s not just banks or financial institutions that fraudsters are targeting.

30% of people surveyed said they received a fraudulent communication claiming to be a technology company, while 22% received a fraudulent text message claiming to be from the Revenue Commissioners.

Most importantly however, 98% of those surveyed said they do not respond to fraudulent communications whether received by text, calls or by email.

It can’t be stressed enough how important vigilance and awareness is when preventing online fraud, with 2% still a very high number relative to the entire population.

Overall those surveyed had a good awareness of online safety with 86% of people being aware that their bank will never text them a link, while 77% are aware that a fraudulent message can appear among genuine messages from their bank, using a method known as ‘smishing’.

What should I do if I receive a message?

If you receiving a suspicious text message, email or phone call the most important thing to bear in mind is to never give out any personal information, ever. Sometimes people may be swayed if there's a voice on the other end, but your bank will never ask for private information in this manner.

If you receive written communication from your bank or a purported financial institution never open any links contained within the communication as these often work as trojan horses containing malicious software and used to access your personal information. 

Again, never respond to any communication you have any doubts about, especially if it’s seeking personal information as it will most likely be fraudulent.

Should you be worried about any message you can always make contact with your bank first before taking any further steps. You can also find out more information online about how scams works from the BPFI, as well as the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

Get in touch

Have you any questions about online fraud? Have you been on the receiving end of a scam recently? We’d like to hear from you in the comments below.

You can always reach out to us on social media too. We’re on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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