Longford public learn urged to be on guard against fraudsters

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Ulster Bank event

Supt Jim Delaney, Declan Kenny, Insp. David Jordon, Fionnuala Murray, Sharon Hall, Paul McDermott, Ann Marie Reilly, Clive Clancy, Sinead Spain, Niamh Donlon, Alison McCloghey

People in Longford learned more about how to avoid fraudsters and keep their money safe at a ‘Friends Against Scams’ information and anti-fraud training event organised by Ulster Bank at the Longford Arms Hotel last week (Wednesday 8th May).

Attendees on the night heard from Denise Cusack, Ulster Bank’s Community Protection Advisor; Declan Kenny, Head of Conduct, Ulster Bank Personal Banking and Community Banker, Brigid Nally; on ways to protect yourself from fraud and improve your digital banking skills.

They also heard from crime prevention officer and Community Garda, Sgt Paul McDermott and Longford Garda Superintendent Jim Delaney.

Several community organisations were present at stands on the night, to promote the services they offer, and people had opportunity to get assistance with banking securely online at a digital hub and visit “Brigid”, the Midlands Mobile Bank.

The ‘Friends Against Scams’ information, which was provided on the night, is being rolled out around Ireland by Ulster Bank to help educate customers and the broader public on how to protect themselves against fraud and to keep their money safe.

A recent survey commissioned by Ulster Bank, found that while almost three quarters (71%) of Leinster respondents say they are fairly confident that they could detect a potential scam (up from 55% in 2017), under a quarter of respondents in Leinster (24%) say they’re very confident that they know what kind of security information their bank may ask them for (down from 26% in 2017).

Ulster Bank’s Community Protection Advisor, Denise Cusack, said:

“Every day I travel around the country meeting customers and community groups to provide support to those who have been the victim of a fraud or a scam. I see at first hand the financial and emotional distress that can be caused and I know how important awareness and education are if we are to prevent this.”

Ulster Bank’s Community Banker in Longford, Brigid Nally, said:

“(Last week’s) event was extremely successful and it’s my hope that by raising awareness and bringing these things into the open, more people in Longford will now feel more comfortable in speaking out and help others avoid scams in the future.

Anyone who encounters suspicious behaviour should contact our fraud and scams team immediately. We have a dedicated number for customers to call to report a fraud or scam – 1800 245 403. (if it’s outside of hours or you’re calling from a mobile please call (+44) 370 010 1913.) You can also get more information our website at https://digital.ulsterbank.ie /personal/security-centre. html.”

Top tips for consumers in Longford to remember when banking online are:

1. Be vigilant. Just because someone knows basic personal details (such as names and addresses or even a customer’s mother’s maiden name), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. We advise customers to listen to their instincts – if something doesn’t feel right, take a moment to stop and pause and think things over.

2. Customers should always follow their bank’s security advice and never provide remote access to their device when asked to do so following a cold call.

3. Customers should be cautious with what they disclose on social media and take precautions to ensure that their profile is private and only viewable to people they know.

4. We advise that customers should keep their mobile devices’ operating systems up to date to ensure that they have the latest security patches and upgrades.

5. A genuine bank or organisation will never ask a customer to transfer money to a safe account for fraud reasons.

6. A genuine bank will never contact a customer out of the blue to ask for their full PIN or password. Stay in control and have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for information. Your bank will never ask you to disclose card reader codes over the phone under any circumstances”.