GARDAÍ at the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) are warning the public of a recent text message scam.
The scam has seen members of the public receive text messages purporting to be from the HSE and advising them to book an appointment for a Covid-19 test through a link on the text.
When the person clicks on the link, they are brought to a cloned website where the fraudsters seek their personal information, including their PPS number, and payment for the Covid-19 test or vaccine.
In most instances, the supplied links look very similar to the authentic HSE URL, but may be misspelled.
Gardaí are reminding the public that the HSE will never look for payment for Covid-19 tests or vaccinations, and people should be wary of such text messages.
They are also advising people to be aware of other ‘smishing’ texts that can purport to be from various service providers, Revenue, banks, and/or delivery businesses.
Some of these messages resemble previously received genuine texts, which adds an air of authenticity to them.
An Garda Síochána has advised people not to click on a link in an unsolicited text or email, and not to respond to cold callers seeking personal information. An Garda Síochána is also warning people not to reply to or call phone numbers supplied in these texts.
People are also being advised to never give away personal data such as a PIN number, credit or debit card numbers, passwords, one-time codes, or PPS number.
Those who have responded to a scam text or paid the scammers are advised to contact their bank immediately and to report the matter to their local Garda station.