FRAUD ALERT: ‘Live chat’ scam tries to gain access to PCs and banking info

Spike in fraudsters accessing customers’ PCs and online banking – bank reminds customers that they should never ever give away codes from their banking app.

Bank of Ireland is warning customers to be on their guard due to a new wave of fraud targeting banks in Europe, the UK, the US, Australia, and New Zealand which is now active in Ireland. 

The fraudsters are mainly targeting business banking customers at this time, duping them into allowing remote access to their computers and bank accounts. 

“People are currently being directed to fake sites, receiving follow-up phone calls from fraudsters and then being convinced to allow remote access”

Reports of this type of scam to Bank of Ireland’s fraud line are increasing daily as the fraud gang target Irish customers. 

Multi-layered scam

“We are urging customers, especially business customers, to be on their guard at this time,” warned Nicola Sadlier, head of Fraud at Bank of Ireland.

“This new scam is of particular concern as fraudsters are convincing people to allow access to their PCs via a fake ‘live chat’, where they can access business customers’ online banking, and other personal files and information. This is all designed with one thing in mind – to steal your money.

“Customers should take extra care right now when logging into their online banking to ensure it is a legitimate site. People are currently being directed to fake sites, receiving follow-up phone calls from fraudsters and then being convinced to allow remote access.

“This scam is multi-layered and the international nature of the scam shows that it has been highly effective for the fraudsters elsewhere,” Sadlier warned.

How Live Chat scam happens

The customer gets a phone call from someone claiming to be from Bank of Ireland.

  1. The caller asks the customer to log into their online banking as normal.
  2. The caller (fraudster) then asks the customer to go to another new website address, saying that this is: “for a live chat service” or “to verify the customer’s PC”, but in reality it allows the fraudster remote access to the customer’s PC.  The fraudster can now see the customer’s screen and access all of the customer’s files and programmes.
  3. The caller will set up payments on the customer’s online banking and ask the customer to read out the one-time codes from their BOI app to approve the payments.

Bank of Ireland’s advice

  1. If you get a call from someone who asks you to go to a website or to click on a link that they will send to you, just hang up.
  2. Never allow a caller to take remote access of your PC. 
  3. If someone asks you for a one-time code from your online banking app, they are a fraudster. Never, ever share those codes with anyone, even if they say they are from Bank of Ireland.
  4. Be very careful when logging on to your online banking website.  The safest thing is to type in the website address yourself or to log in through the main Bank of Ireland website here
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