by Bronagh Loughlin
Over the last number of days, people from the East Meath community have been receiving suspicious texts from their bank or a bank they are not even signed up with.
The texts, similar to the one pictured, are telling people that their bank accounts are frozen and they need to act urgently by clicking a link or phoning them. These text messages are mainly coming from people pretending to represent either the AIB or Ulster banks.
This act of pretending to be a bank and sending text messages to people has earned the name ‘smishing’. If you follow the instructions of these messages, the person on the line will attempt to defraud you out of your money.
They will do this by tricking you into giving them your personal and security information. On the other hand, clicking a link to visit a website may lead to an attempt to infect your mobile or computer with a virus.
Ulster Bank ask that you forward any suspicious text messages referring to Ulster Bank to the number 086 1800792. AIB ask that those who receive suspicious text messages to contact them immediately.
Ulster Bank and AIB warn people not to call the person sending them the text message, don’t click on the website link and if you already have clicked on the link, to run an anti-virus software immediately.
Both banks say that they will never ask you for your full PIN, password or other bank details over text or email so be aware that this is considered unusual activity.