With Revolut phishing scams on the rise, “our first line of defence is ourselves”, Newstalk Tech Correspondent Jess Kelly has warned.
She was speaking after scammers twice tried to steal her Revolut details with text message ‘phishing’ scams this weekend.
Phishing is when a fraudster attempts to trick you into handing over your details by pretending to be a trusted entity.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Jess said the scams are getting more believable all the time.
— Jess Kelly 👩🏻💻 (@jesskellynt) March 6, 2023
“I was shocked over the weekend,” she said.
“I received two separate incidences of a scam text purporting to be from Revolut and they were in the same thread as legitimate texts that I had received from Revolut.”
Jess said she knew there was an issue straight away because the link in the text message, "just wasn’t legit”.
“Straight away, I knew there was an issue but I did a bit of digging and people who unfortunately thought this was legitimate, clicked on a link and they were brought through to a webpage that looked pretty legit and they were being prompted to scan their faces and take a number of steps that you would often do,” she said.
“The fear factor here is that people were transferring money out of their account because they thought there was a legitimate issue.”
She said bank scams are a lot more believable than they used to be.
“It is no longer princes in foreign lands who want to give you a million euro,” she said. “It is coming from companies that, you know, you do interact with.”
“I was talking to Minister Ossian Smyth about this two weeks ago and he was saying they are trying to identify trends where mass texts - the same text - is being sent out.
“If there is a lot of traffic on the network they can try and police it – but it is a very difficult thing.
“So, our first line of defence, unfortunately, is ourselves.”
She had this advice for anyone who gets a text from a bank or service provider.
“If something doesn’t look legit don’t click on it,” she said.
“If something comes, purporting to be from a bank or service provider, don’t click on a link, call the service provider. I know it’s a bit of a pain in the face but surely it’s better to spend 15 minutes doing that than find out you are two or three grand down in your bank account.”
She said people should also warn family members about the danger.
“Maybe try and talk to the relatives in your family who may not be overly tech-savvy,” she said.
“That’s something that, you know, you do need to be mindful of.”
Jess said anyone who thinks they have fallen victim to a phishing scam should contact their bank and Gardaí immediately.