A new radio, social media and online display campaign from Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) and its FraudSMART division went live this week. The campaign, created by Dublin-based agency Bloom, warns consumers to watch out as scammers take advantage as tens of thousands of people change their bank accounts due to the exit of Ulster Bank and KBC from the Irish market later this year.

The latest FraudSMART figures show that victims of text message scams or ‘smishing’ were tricked out of an average of €1,700 during the first half of this year, while over the same period, businesses were conned out of an average of €14,000 due to invoice fraud.

Speaking on the latest fraud trends, Niamh Davenport, FraudSMART spokesperson said consumers and businesses should “be on high alert for impersonation type scams”.

“With two retail banks leaving the Irish market and hundreds of thousands of personal and businesses customers moving bank accounts, FraudSMART members are anticipating a rise in impersonation fraud attempts which will be based around the process of verifying and updating bank account details.”

“We needed a strong campaign to warn consumers to be on the lookout for text messages that flag fraud on your bank account or impending cancellation of your salary, standing orders, or direct debits to utilities and which then go on to ask for personal information or account details,” Davenport added.

Sinead Boyle, Managing Director of Bloom, said, “Since winning the competitive pitch for the BPFI campaign a few months ago, we have been creating campaigns to help customers move bank accounts by providing tips and advice. As part of that, the FraudSMART team asked us to work on this important public awareness brief. We knew the creative had to really grab attention to ensure customers were equipped to avoid the worst pitfalls. Our strategy of using well-known impersonators, including Oliver Callan on radio, gives the campaign immediate cut-through and impact. The call to action directs people to the FraudSMART.ie website which has further information and advice on how consumers and businesses can protect themselves from fraud.”