Below are descriptions and comments on some of  the many types of scams to which you may fall victim if you are not careful.

(For examples of actual fraudulent text  messages and emails click here)

It is important to point out that Ayrwaves is not resourced to offer individually tailored advice or solutions.

Note that if you have been been subjected to threats from scammers you should notify the Gardaí.

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YouTube Scams

Life teaches us that when something seems too good to be true it usually isn't .

This point is illustrated by the collection of YouTube videos below:

The first video is of the scam itself - as it recently popped up on YouTube.

The second is of the actor who played the part of the millionaire CEO -  in apologetic mode.

The third video is of the actor's website.

They illustrate the world of make believe that preys on greed and innocence.

Original Scam Advert on YouTube - do not follow the advice given!:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFNgwCdF5dg
The actor explaining how he came to be in the video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKH1WhSTlX8
The actor's own website:
https://jeremymclaughlin.com

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Pop-up adverts for products that seem irresistible

Think more than twice before you make the decision to buy. This YouTube video (linked to below) deals with an advertisement that popped up when recently viewing an Irish news website.

Don't be surprised if when you click this link you first encounter an an advertisement for a similarly attractive product - if so just click "skip ads", or wait patiently until the advertisement plays out. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67350MLGXXQ

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Texts purporting to be from TSB

Message is addressed to TSB account holders notifying them that there account has been blocked. A link is provided which you are advised to click. Calls to TSB quickly revealed that the texts were bogus. As always be very wary of clicking links in texts.

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Scams as Gaeilge?
If you receive an unsolicited message in Irish you may be tempted to click the link provided, if only out of pure curiosity. The message could be a clever scam (scéiméireacht teileafóin).
Curiosity is a gift to be managed with care.

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A taxi is sent to collect your credit card!

This scam is well described in the following message recently issued by AIB to its customers (circa April 29 2022)

"This may sound like a strange idea, but it shows the lengths fraudsters will go to get their hands on your card.

We've heard about cases where a fraudster, pretending to be from AIB, calls or texts you to tell you your card details are already in the wrong hands of criminals and we (AIB) have arranged for a taxi to collect your card from you.

Here's the scam:

A genuine taxi arrives, collects the card, and innocently delivers it into the hands of a real criminal. They now have access to the money in your account.

Here's the truth:

While we may call you if we see suspicious activity on your card, we will never ask you for your card back.

We will never send a taxi to collect the card.

We will never ask you to click on a link.

Here's what to do:

If you get a call about suspicious activity on your card and the call sounds strange in any way, just hang up. You can also freeze your card or cancel it online."

 

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Smartphone camera scam (occurred on April 29 2022 – Location Dublin):

Scam description:

Intended victim received a call from an unknown source and inadvertently called the number.  They quickly realised that their smartphone camera had been switched on and they were on video. Immediately they terminated the call.

A succession of video and audio calls followed over the next twenty four hours. Fortunately none were answered.

Lesson learned:

Be very careful about responding to unknown calls whether via WhatsApp or other media.

The risk of responding to such calls:

Once the caller has your face on view they can instantly do a screen capture and graft your photo on to another image. They may then attempt to use the faked image for blackmail or other criminal purposes.

A Precaution you can take:

If for some reason you feel compelled to respond to a call from an unrecognised source then first cover the “selfie” lens on the smartphone. If you don’t know where this lens is located then perhaps now is the time to find out: just set up your phone to take a “selfie” and see where you must place your thumb to block the view of your face.

The YouTube linked to below was made back in October 2020 in India. It describes a scam  similar to the one that occurred here in Dublin within the past few days.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1tXyXRwLUI

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You receive a phone call purporting to be from Microsoft telling you that you must take urgent action and follow their instructions or your computer will stop working and all data will be lost.

Comment: Microsoft never makes such phone calls to computer users and such calls are invariably scams. Simply hang up if you receive such a call.

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You receive an email telling you that a package is awaiting collection by you and you should click on the link in the email for further details.

Comment: When you place an order on the internet often there is provision for tracking the delivery process. But unless you have placed such an order, be very wary of clicking on the link in such an email. And even if you have ordered something, an email telling you that a package is awaiting collection may well be a scam.

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You receive a pop-up message on your screen telling you that your computer is running slow and if you click on the box it can be repaired.

Comment: Usually these are scams and if you click on the box your computer may be infected with a virus or loaded with malware (software that you do not want and that may affect your computer’s performance).

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You receive an email implying that you stand to gain a lot of money if you provide your bank details.

Comment: Invariably scams

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You receive a mysterious message from some unknown source which asks you to click on a link in the email.

Comment: be wary of clicking on any links in emails about which you have any doubts.

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You receive a message on your iPhone telling you that a purchase has been made on your behalf (for example a computer game) and if you have not made the purchase you should contact Apple by clicking on the link provided.

Comment: This is a clever scam, as many users will be afraid NOT to click the link, believing that if they don’t do so the purchase will be charged to them. I have checked out such an instance personally and it turned out to be a scam.

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You receive a call telling you that there is an urgent message waiting for you. The caller may imply that someone you know is in hospital - and you are left holding.

Comment: This may be a heartless scam, and people with loved ones living abroad or travelling abroad, may fall into the trap and hold on while they are loaded with large phone bill costs. Often companies like Vodafone block such calls but sometimes thy do get through.

Be wary of incoming phone calls from strange numbers and be especially wary of calls that are listed as missed calls on your phone when you are unfamiliar with the caller name associated with the number and the number looks like a foreign country number.

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You receive a call from your bank telling you that access to your bank account will be blocked if you don’t proceed to supply your bank account details.

Comment: Never reveal passwords or PIN number or any bank account details in response to such requests. If you suspect that the call may be genuine then hang up and contact the bank using the telephone contact number on your bank statement or other documentation. Do not assume that the phone number you are asked to ring is genuine – it may be a number that connects to people who are part of the scam operation.

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You receive a text telling you that you have won a prize

Comment: these are invariably scams so take no action.

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A screen appears on your computer telling you that your computer has been locked by the Garda Siochana and severe penalties will apply if you don’t take the action indicated. It appears official and may also suggest that Interpol are involved.

Comment: Another scam – a virus has locked your computer and you should seek assistance from   someone with expertise in dealing with viruses so that your computer can be unlocked.

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You receive a text or email with what seems like important or useful information and it is suggested that you pass the message on to others.

Comment: Be wary of texts, videos and emails that you are asked to forward on to others. The sender may be a trustworthy source, perhaps a good friend, – but where did they get the information? We live in an age where misinformation thrives, and this is as good a way as any of spreading misinformation. It may be dodgy health advice or even a phoney security alert.

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You receive an email from someone you know and which seems to have come from their email address telling you that they are abroad and after losing their credit card and need money urgently.

Comment: A friend’s email may have been hijacked and emails are now being issued without their knowledge. One way of making it more difficult for others to hack into your email is to have a strong password. Unless you are certain about how to change your password seek expert advice before doing so.

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You are involved in making a large payment, maybe for a new house, and are provided by email with an IBAN (International Bank Account Number) to which you are requested to transfer the money.

Comment: This is extremely dangerous if you are not absolutely sure that you have been provided with the correct IBAN. If you have been emailed the IBAN, remember that the email that you have received may have been compromised and another IBAN number substituted. The sender of the email may not be aware that their email has been altered in this way. If you find yourself in a situation where a large amount of money is at risk from this type of fraud then contact the Gardaí immediately.

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Revenue have become aware of fraudulent emails (scam emails) and SMS (text messages) purporting to come from Revenue seeking personal information from taxpayers in connection with a tax refund, or seeking credit or debit card details.

Comment:

Revenue never send emails or text messages requiring customers to send personal information via email, text or pop-up windows. Anyone who receives an email or text message purporting to be from Revenue and suspects it to be fraudulent or a scam should simply delete it. Anyone who is actually awaiting a tax refund should contact their Revenue Office to check its status. Anyone who provided personal information in response to these fraudulent emails or text messages should contact their bank or credit card company immediately.

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