VISHING (fraud phone
calls), Smishing (fraud texts) and Phishing (fraud
emails) may not be overly familiar terms but An Garda
Síochána wish to highlight the increased prevalence of
these specific fraud related crimes, which have seen an
increase of 370% in 2021, compared to 2020. While
overall fraud offences have increased by 111% for 2021.
Gardaí are asking members of the public to be wary of
unsolicited phone calls, emails and texts and not to
click on any links. The most prevalent frauds are
purporting to be from your bank, or other financial
institution, where you are invited to click a link which
brings you to a cloned website, subsequently looking for
your PIN. They may also seek other personal data such as
address, date of birth, PPS numbers etc. These are just
a few of the online scams cybercriminals use to steal
your private data (personal or financial information).
An Garda Síochána is warning the public to never give
away personal data such as bank account details, PIN
numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, one time codes,
PPS numbers and Eircodes. If you’ve been a victim of
fraud, it’s vital that you change your passwords
immediately and report the matter to your bank as well
as to Gardaí.
The advice on Vishing, Smishing and Phishing is as
Vishing - Calls
· Be wary of cold calls received. Ask the caller their
name, their phone number and if you are concerned hang
up and ring your bank / service provider from a number
advertised in a phone book, on your bill or from a
· Just because the number looks Irish does not mean it
is – fraudsters use VOIP and spoofed numbers.
· Never act on advice received or instructions from a
· Never give away personal data like bank account
details, PIN numbers, credit card numbers, passwords,
one time codes, PPS numbers or Eircodes.
· Never download any Apps as these allow the fraudster
to take control of your device.
· Be aware that State bodies including the Revenue
Commissioners will not ring you to advise that you are
· Do not transfer money in any way.
· Before taking any action, seek advice from a trusted
Smishing - Texts
· Be wary of such texts even if they are contained
within the thread of previous genuine texts from banks.
· Never click on links – by doing so you are accessing
· If you’re expecting a delivery and receive such a
text, be very careful.
· Banking institutions will never send a text containing
· An Garda Síochána advise people not to respond to such
texts, to take screenshots of the texts received and
delete them and to report it to the bank or relevant
company and local Garda station.
Phishing – Emails
· Phishing emails can look official – make sure you are
certain it’s legitimate before opening an attachment.
· Hover over any hyperlinks so you know where they lead
to before you click (or go directly to the source).
· Beware of requests for personal or financial details
or requests to reset passwords.
· Delete any suspicious emails, block the sender and
don’t forward the email to anyone else.
· Don’t store passwords on your browser. If any of your
passwords are compromised, it could lead to a chain of
disasters and compromise all your accounts.
· Avoid using personal or untrusted removable devices
(such as phones, tablets, iPods, SD Cards) on office
· Beware of generic, impersonal greetings, such as "Dear
Friend” or poor spelling and grammar.
· Check the displayed name against the actual email.
· Limit what you share online – cybercriminals use
information you post online to learn how to gain your
· Stay updated with security policies and best