Adrian’s Advice: Shield Yourself from Scam Texts and Calls

Irish Journalist's News Excerpt Headline: "Beware of the Latest Scam! Irish Citizens Receive Fraudulent Texts Claiming to be from Their Loved Ones"

Irish consumers have been warned about an increase in fraudulent text messages and calls. Scammers are using a variety of tactics to trick people into parting with their money or personal information. In one particularly concerning development, fraudsters are “spoofing” text messages to make them appear as if they are part of a legitimate conversation with a bank or other trusted contact. When the recipient clicks on a link in the message, they are taken to a fake website that looks identical to the real thing, where they are asked to input sensitive details such as bank account numbers and passwords.

Other common scams include text messages purporting to be from eFlow or An Post, claiming that the recipient has unpaid tolls or delivery charges. There has also been a revival in automated robo-call scams, with fraudsters claiming to be from the Revenue, Amazon, or other organisations and demanding payment of a supposed subscription fee.

Consumers have been advised to take a number of steps to protect themselves. One option is to limit the number of unknown numbers that can get through to their phone. On an iPhone, this can be done by going into Messages and switching on the “filter unknown senders” toggle. On an Android phone, users should go into settings and switch on “spam protection”. There are also third-party apps available that can help, such as Truecaller, which uses a database of known scam numbers to block or mute calls and texts as they arrive. However, it is important to note that this will not block all such numbers, as scammers can sometimes “spoof” legitimate mobile numbers.

Another option is to silence unknown callers. On an iPhone, this can be done by going into settings, selecting “phone”, and then switching on “silence unknown callers”. On an Android phone, users should go into settings and select “caller ID & spam”. This will send calls that are not in the user’s contacts straight through to voicemail. While this does not block the calls, it does mean that users are not caught off guard when they receive them.

Consumers have also been advised to be cautious when clicking on links in text messages or emails, even if they appear to be from a trusted source. If in doubt, they should contact the company or organisation directly to verify the message’s authenticity. Finally, they should never give out sensitive information such as bank account details or passwords over the phone or via text or email.

In conclusion, while scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated, there are steps that consumers can take to protect themselves. By limiting the number of unknown numbers that can get through, silencing unknown callers, and being cautious when clicking on links, individuals can reduce their risk of falling victim to fraud.

Categories: Irish Tech News