It is extremely difficult for the Gardaí to trace mass texting scams originating from abroad that target consumers in Ireland.
That's according to the head of the National Economic Crime Bureau, Chief Superintendent Pat Lordan.
Irish people have lost almost €3m to investment fraud in the first eight months of this year.
Speaking to The Pat Kenny Show, Chief Superintendent Lordan said policing international cells who carry out these scams is very challenging.
He said the people behind these scams are "constantly changing, getting better technology, and doing their level best to get people to give away their personal details".
Chief Superintendent Lordan said the Gardaí were seeing "huge increases" in "smishing" scams which he described as "pure theft".
He said: "We're seeing a lot of banking customers suffering at the hands of these criminals because their tech is so good and their texts are so good that they're really confusing people.
"From speaking to injured parties over the last number of months, they are very convincing text messages."
He said people should be aware that banks of courier companies will never ask for your personal details and that they should "stop and think" when they receive unsolicited messages.
Chief Superintendent Lordan said organised criminals are behind these scams and they operate globally, with some based in Ireland, Europe and further afield.
He said: "They work in a cell network, the first of which targets the customer by text or email.
"The second cell would follow up with the customer who took the bait.
"And the third cell, which we've been targeting quite successfully in the last 12 months is where they transfer the money to a bank account, often within Ireland.
"Those bank accounts are normally people who are not involved with the criminals and what we call mule accounts."
He said students and young people are being targeted online by criminals seeking to use their bank accounts for stolen money.
Chief Superintendent Lordan said there are a variety of legal instruments which can be used to stop these criminals.
However, the difficulty arises in that some of the hosting sites for delivery of text messages or emails can be abroad, which involves the Gardaí liaising with their international counterparts.
He said: "Sometimes when those police forces land on the doorstep of where that server was, the server was run by a criminal organisation and they've long gone.
"It's not as easy as rolling up and knocking on the door in a foreign country and it is difficult.
He added that the difficulty is finding where the scams are being hosted from is paired with the added problem that the money moves so quickly.