• Fraudsters take advantage of periods of change
  • Expect more scam calls, texts, emails as consumers move accounts and re-arrange utility payment
  • Never trust, always verify

Bank of Ireland is warning the public to be extra vigilant for fraud as the mass movement of bank accounts accelerates with Ulster Bank and KBC exiting the market. Consumers should expect an increase in scam calls, texts and emails as fraudsters commonly take advantage of periods of change to target customers.

Hundreds of thousands of current account customers will move their accounts in the coming months, along with changing direct debits and standing order payments to utilities and other companies.  So far this year, Bank of Ireland has opened double the number of personal current accounts compared to the same period last year.  Activity will accelerate more through 2022 and fraudsters will try to capitalise on this period of unprecedented change. 

Consumers should independently verify messages or calls asking for personal information or account details or containing warnings around the cancellation of important payments.  Fraudsters will try to introduce a sense of urgency to persuade consumers to give away their banking details. 

Edel McDermott, Head of Group Fraud, Bank of Ireland said:

We know that periods of major change or uncertainty create ideal conditions for fraudsters to operate.  The rise in fraud recorded during Covid 19 and Brexit demonstrates this.  The number of ‘phishing’ websites detected by our Fraud Prevention Team doubled in one month alone in 2021 and, at its peak, we saw 70 new fraudulent sites appearing per day.

The current mass movement of customers between banks creates ideal conditions for criminals. As customers make arrangements to move their bank accounts and make changes to their direct debits and standing orders, they will be expecting communications from a whole range of providers.   Protecting our customers against fraud at all times is a top priority.  Particularly at this time, we ask customers to take extra care around the security of their personal information and their accounts.

Bank of Ireland fraud advice:

  • Verify any texts/emails/phones calls saying they are from a bank or a utility provider asking you to take action relating to a direct debit, standing order, subscription. 
  • Do not click on any link or follow directions from somebody on a call without verifying first. End the call and phone your bank or the utility provider directly, using the number on their website.
  • Bank of Ireland will never send you a text with a link to a website that asks you for your online banking login details or any one-time codes that we’ve sent to you.
  • If you get a suspicious text please email a screenshot of the text to [email protected] and then delete the text.
  • If you think you may have given away any of your banking details please call our 24/7 Freephone line 1800 946 764 immediately.

For more advice and information on fraud, visit boi.com/security or www.fraudsmart.ie

Bank of Ireland’s new dedicated online hub “The Big Move” includes a guide for customers on how to close their existing current account, open a new account, make changes to regular payments, and apply for credit products such as overdrafts. Templates for letters to SEPA Direct Debit originators, payroll change instruction letters to employers, and credit payment redirection forms have also been developed to help consumers navigate the process.

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