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Reflecting Ireland: Tips to avoid becoming a victim of financial fraud

23 November 2022

In our latest Reflecting Ireland report, which you can read here, we look at Ireland’s experience of fraud, our attitudes towards it and how we are changing our behaviour in response to the threat.

To support our findings, we’ve teamed up with Claire Cogan of BehaviourWise to share ten tips you can use to protect yourself from the rising threat of fraud.

Be informed

Check out an initiative by the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI) to raise awareness of financial fraud and advise on what to do if you have been targeted. Their rule of thumb is to be informed, alert and secure. Check their website for alerts on the latest scams operating in Ireland and tips on what to do to protect yourself.

Be alert. Prevention is better than cure!

Be extra vigilant when you’re busy, distracted, tired or stressed. This is when we are at our most susceptible, and fraudsters know it. Resist the urge to react impulsively – don't click on that link or attachment in an unsolicited text or email. Be particularly alert to any requests to share your information, pay an advance fee or transfer money.

When shopping online, be mindful. Don’t let the pressure of getting the perfect Christmas gift distract you! Give yourself a ‘nudge’ - place a little reminder near any laptop or tablet you typically use. When buying from a website for the first time, no matter how good it looks check for independent reviews on specialist platforms such as Trustpilot.

Even when you’re familiar with a website, look out for the secure payment symbol before making a payment, and always check the web address; tech savvy scammers can fake legitimate websites.

Make it a habit to check your bank balance and statements regularly. The more often you do this, the more likely you are to notice something unusual. The earlier you notice anything suspicious, the better chance there is of addressing it.

Stay connected. Talk to friends and family if you have any suspicions about fraudulent activity, share stories. Seventeen percent of us first hear about scams to look out for from friends and family.

Look out for vulnerable family members and friends. We keep each other safe by looking out for each other.

If you suspect you have been a victim of fraud, report it immediately to the Gardaí and your financial institution. Some feel embarrassed about having been caught out and choose not to report it, but there is no shame in it - fraud is becoming increasingly sophisticated and difficult to spot. When we report incidents, we are helping keep others in our community safe.

Be secure

Protect your personal data, keep it private. Choose passwords carefully, avoid anything too obvious and resist the temptation to use the same ones for multiple purposes. Keep your cards in a safe place, keep them in sight when making a payment and don’t write your PIN number anywhere.

If you receive an unsolicited call claiming to be from your bank or an organisation you do business with asking for information or instructing you to do something, be wary. Suggest calling them back and do so on the official number.

Keep any devices you use protected with up-to-date antivirus software and use 2 factor authentication which provides an extra layer of security when making online payments.

Check out permanent tsb’s Financial Fraud Hub.

The content of this blog does not constitute advice and is for general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice before relying on anything stated in the blog. Some of the links above bring you to external websites. Your use of an external website is subject to the terms of that site.

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