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Public urged to be vigilant as fraudsters expand their activities to flight ticket booking and even vaccination

DUBLIN: Although there has been a slight decline in the number of incidents, Gardai said online scams continue to be a concern to Irish people. Fraudsters target victims by purporting to be from a variety of organisations, including banks, Revenue, and the Gardai. But now they even use messages from the HSE about vaccination appointments for fraud activities. The most common scams in Ireland are phishing and smishing, both of which can be prevented if customers are vigilant.

New ‘AIB scam’

AIB also warned against the latest scams targeting consumers. The new fraudulent message reads, “A suspicious transaction was made today with your AIB Visa card”. The fraudsters will then ask you to visit a website for further information.

According to the bank’s website, if they suspect fraudulent activity on your account, they may send you a message reading, AIB: Please confirm spending with card ending 1234. DD/MM/YY EUR at Amazon Digital. If this is yours, respond with a Y; otherwise, respond with an N.

The bank has set up a form for customers to report texts, calls, and emails that they feel are fraudulent.

Vaccination-related deception

The HSE said that a new vaccination-related fraud is taking place. This is a scam that offers people vaccine appointments.

The HSE warned people of an SMS scam in which fraudsters target people in order to get credit or debit card details. They will send a link to pre-book a vaccination appointment and then seek payment details from the victim.

“The HSE does not charge the public for COVID-19 related services, including vaccinations, and such texts should be ignored,” it said. Anyone receiving such fake messages is advised to report to Gardai.

Online travel agencies target Ryanair customers

Last week, Ryanair warned customers about fake scam websites offering ‘discount’ flights. It said that certain fake online travel agencies (OTAs) are selling tickets at lower costs in exchange for customer data. 

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