Over one million customers warned of the dangers of Investment Fraud

Bank of Ireland has written to over one million personal and business customers to warn them of the risks of investment fraud.  The warning comes as research has revealed that Irish consumers are being targeted by scammers with increasing regularity, with 94% of the population saying they’ve received a fraudulent text, email or phone call in the last 12 months.


Investment fraud is on the rise with 77% growth nationally in cases reported in 2023. More people are caught out every day with some losing all of their life savings.  According to the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, reports received by Gardaí from victims of fraudulent texts increased by over 30% in 2023.


Criminals impersonate legitimate investment companies by copying their websites and brochures. These fake websites offering shares, bonds and cryptocurrencies look professional and their “advisors” can seem genuine.  Bank of Ireland has issued advice to its customers to warn of the ‘red flags’ associated with investment fraud, and the simple steps that people can take to safeguard their finances against fraud attempts.


The 5 red flags of Investment Fraud:


Follow-up calls: You receive a call having clicked on an ad for an investment product on social media or in a sponsored search result.


Big/fast returns: They promise a quick and profitable return, with little or no risk.


Pressure: They advise you must act quickly to take advantage of an “opportunity of a lifetime”.


Urgency: They tell you to make an urgent payment to get in on the deal.


Secrecy: They say you’re not to discuss the “investment” with family, friends or your Bank and they may instruct you to sign a “non-disclosure agreement” (NDA).


Bank of Ireland’s fraud teams intercept or prevent the majority of fraud attempts, and this is a 24/7 job.  In the remaining cases, where a fraud has been successful, all efforts are made by the fraud team to recover funds for customers.


Fraud awareness advice for customers:




Social media pop-up ads may not be trustworthy and clicking them should be avoided. Be wary of cryptocurrency investment advertisements.  Don’t engage with any ‘recovery firm’ promising to get funds back for a fee.




Using a trusted source, like your local branch advisor, is still your safest option when it comes to investing.




Always seek independent advice before making any investments. Only use regulated companies – view the Central Bank of Ireland’s warning notices on cloned firms.


If people suspect they have been a victim of fraud they should contact their bank immediately so that the bank can take action to stop a fraud in progress and try to recover funds. Bank of Ireland customers can call our Fraud Team 24/7, on the Freephone line 1800 946 764.


For a full listing of all planned consumer fraud awareness events, and advice and information on how to stay safe from fraud, visit the Security Zone on the Bank of Ireland website.



Research sources:

1 – RedC National Fraud Research Survey February 2024

2 – Garda Siochana Annual Report 15 November 2023

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