Fraud Awareness - Capital Credit Union
Capital Credit Union

Fraud Awareness

Fraud Awareness

Fraud is when an individual (fraudster) misleads another individual (victim) by persuading them to do/ or not to do something that results in financial loss.

People every day are affected by this serious problem. In today’s rapidly evolving world, it is important to be vigilant and protective of yourself from fraudsters who are looking for unsuspecting individuals to take advantage of for personal gain.

At Capital Credit Union, we take fraud prevention seriously. We prioritise our members, which involves helping them stay informed and protected.

We put together a few common types of fraud explaining how you can spot it, and to prepare you if you were to be targeted.

DISCLAIMER: Capital Credit Union will NEVER ask you to click a link. If you receive an SMS, Email or a WhatsApp message asking you to click a link, DO NOT click the link and DELETE the message.

If you feel you have clicked on a link, please contact us immediately by phone (01) 299 0400.

Fake Links

‘Smishing’ is a method used by fraudsters to trick people into downloading malware, sharing sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, or bank details, or they trick people into sending money to cybercriminals. They do this through sending you links via SMS, Email or WhatsApp.

How can I recognise a Smishing attack?

  • Urgent action demands – Does the message offer you a time limited offer or discounts? The tactic of creating urgency is used to make the person sense a fear of missing out. From the emotion, the victim doesn’t have time to reflect if the offer is trustworthy.
  • Poor grammar and spelling errors
  • Unfamiliar greeting – Smishing scams usually go out at large numbers, they often lack personalisation. The attacks typically start with generic salutations such as “Dear customer”, “Dear Sir/ Madam”.
  • Offers that are too good to be true
  • Suspicious or unsolicited attachments – File sharing usually take places via collaboration tools such as SharePoint, OneDrive, or Dropbox. Fraudsters will have an unfamiliar extension, or one commonly associated with malware e.g. .zip, .exe, .scr, etc.

Fake websites

Fraudsters use fake websites to trick people into giving personal information such as usernames, passwords or bank details. Fake websites work in many ways, from publishing misleading information to promising wild rewards or giveaways.

How does a fake website work?

  1. Attract: Attackers will draw your attention to their website from various channels such as social media, Email or SMS.
  2. Compromise: Users will expose their personal information, for example, through providing bank details while trying to make a purchase.
  3. Exploit: Fraudsters will exploit the persons information and misuse it for personal gain or to infect their devices with malicious software for various purposes.

How do I identify fake websites?

  1. Emotionally provoking language: Does the language of the website heighten your emotions? Fraudsters use wording to purposely elevate emotions as a distraction. Those emotions are usually fear, urgency or excitement.
  2. Poor design: Does the website have the quality that you would expect from a legitimate website? Watch out for low-resolution images and odd layouts, these can be signs of a scam.
  3. Poor grammar: Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are good indications of a fake website.
  4. Absence of identifying web pages: A legitimate website should have pages such as ‘Contact Us’ and an ‘About Us’ page. If you are sceptical, it is good to give the business a call. If your call isn’t answered or if the number is from a mobile phone, be cautious. If it seems like the business is trying to avoid verbal contact, there must be a reason.

Investment Scams

Fraudsters deceive people through offering people high interest returns on various investments, these involve cryptocurrencies, bonds, shares, rare metals, overseas land investments or alternative energy.

These scams can be very convincing, it is possible for fraudsters to have created professional and legitimate looking company websites. Read our section about ‘Fake Websites’ to learn how to spot real from fake. And remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

How does an investment scam work?

  1. You will receive an unsolicited call, SMS or Email.
  2. You are promised quick returns and are assured that the investment is safe.
  3. It is a limited time offer.
  4. The offer is only available to you, and you are asked not to share it.

What can I do?

  • Always seek financial advice before handing over money or making an investment
  • Only use regulated entities. You can check if the financial services provider holds an authorisation from the Central Bank of Ireland or the SSM (the Single Supervisory Mechanism – European Central Bank) in the Central Bank Registers section. It would be wise to check the regulatory status of the firm you are dealing with before entering a financial services transaction.
  • Never share security details, such as passwords.
  • Reject cold calls.
  • Be cautious and suspicious of unsolicited emails.
  • Be wary of pop-up ads and crypto-currency investments advertisements. They are not trustworthy and clicking on them should be carefully avoided.
  • If you are suspicious, contact the police.