A new Text-Checker service to verify if text messages are legitimate has been launched for Bank of Ireland customers. The new service comes as fraudsters are targeting the Irish population with increasing frequency. 74% of adults surveyed by Red C say they have received fraudulent textmessages that appeared to be from their bank – an increase of 37% on 2021 figures. 43% received a fraudulent telephone call from a fraudster saying they were from their bank (up 25% since 2021) and 52% received a fraudulent email, an increase of 8%.
Bank of Ireland’s new text checking service is for customers who are in any doubt about a text they received saying it’s from the Bank. Customers simply send the word ‘Check’ followed by the text message they wish to verify, to 50365 and they will receive confirmation within 60 seconds. The Bank has also partnered with Professor Mary Aiken, a world-leading expert in Cyberpsychology, which is the study of the impact of technology on human behaviour. Professor Aiken has analysed some common examples of fraudulent texts and, in a series of videos, will break down what a fraudster will do, why that might catch people out and what people can do to protect themselves.
Commenting during Fraud Awareness Week, Edel McDermott, Head of Fraud, Bank of Ireland said: “Our customers’ financial wellbeing and peace of mind around their accounts is a top priority for Bank of Ireland. Despite warnings and increased awareness, the threat of fraud, most notably via text messages, is rising.
“Through our new Text-Checker service, customers can have any text that looks like it’s coming from Bank of Ireland verified in 60 seconds. We’re also partnering with Professor Mary Aiken, to help our customers understand the ways that fraudsters will target them. Professor Aiken’s insights and the Bank’s simple message of Stop, Think, Check, will help customers protect themselves against fraud”.
Professor Mary Aiken commented: “We all know someone who has been targeted or become a victim of fraud. There is a cybercrime epidemic, which is why we need to become aware of how we are being targeted, and most importantly, what we should do to protect ourselves. We simply cannot trust texts, emails or phone calls that look like they are coming from a business or official body in the first instance. It’s difficult: trust is a very human trait but in an age of technology we have to adapt.
“I’m delighted to work with Bank of Ireland on this initiative – which is a first, in that it decodes the behaviours of fraudsters and the tactics that they use, making this real for people. The most important part of our advice though is to remind people to, simply – stop, think and check before reacting or responding to any communication they get in text, email or on the phone”
While fraud is increasingly prevalent, consumers are becoming more mindful and cautious around becoming a target – 76% regularly considering the threat of fraud when they are online, an increase of 7% on last year. Tactics used by fraudsters, including links to bogus websites in texts, are also gaining familiarity with the population. While 43% trust receiving a text message from their bank, this drops to 4% when the text includes a link requesting login to internet banking.
Bank of Ireland advice to customers:
· We’ll never send you a text message with a link to a website that asks for your card number, your 365Online PIN, or for any one-time passcodes that we’ve sent to you.
· Be very careful with any phone number sent to you in a text. It could be fake.
· Where customers receive a text appearing to be from Bank of Ireland, the Text-Checker service (Security Zone – Bank of Ireland Group Website) is now available.
If you get a text that claims to be from Bank of Ireland but you are not sure if it’s genuine, here’s how to verify it:
- Copy the text you wish to verify.
- Paste into a new message.
- Add the word CHECK before the text. (In the same text)
- Send to 50365.
Alternatively send it to email@example.com and we’ll let you know if it was really from us. Remember to forward a screenshot of the text if possible. If you think you may have given away any of your banking details, please call our 24/7 Freephone line 1800 946 764 immediately.