Due to a two-year bear market, fraudsters choose to prey on Ireland’s traditional banking clients rather than cryptocurrency investors.

In the realm of financial fraud and deception, scammers are continually evolving their tactics to target unsuspecting individuals. In a recent report on the landscape of financial scams in Ireland, an alarming trend has emerged: scammers are increasingly preferring to target banking customers over crypto investors.

This unexpected shift in focus has raised concerns among both financial institutions and law enforcement agencies. In this article, we will delve into the key findings of this report, exploring the reasons behind scammers’ preference for banking customers and the potential consequences of this shift.

In many cases, the enthusiasm and profits surrounding the cryptocurrency ecosystem at a given time are directly associated with the frequency of scams. The current bear market in cryptocurrencies has contributed to the elimination of some of the bad actors, such as scams and organizations. At the same time, it mostly retains genuine investors who believe in due diligence.

Fraudsters Concentrate on Ireland’s Traditional Banking Clients

Fraudsters Prey on Ireland's Traditional Banking Clients Rather Than Crypto Investors

Due to the difficulty in finding crypto investors to con, fraudsters in Ireland are concentrating on banking clients. The Irish Independent claims that in 2023, Irish individuals lost up to 20 million euros ($21.8 million) to con artists posing as bank employees.

A source revealed:

“In the last few months, what has become more and more common is that victims have been contacted often by phone or by email by fraudsters who are saying they work for legitimate, high-profile British banks or trading houses.”

Fraudsters use emails and phone calls to lure naive people into their trap by impersonating traditional banks. The Irish police have been successful in recovering 2 million euros ($2.1 million) from one of the con artists, and they are currently looking into several similar crimes.

Approximately 4 million of the 20 million euros lost to financial fraud since January 2023 have been recovered by Irish authorities. Detectives told the Irish Independent that although making up 95% of scams at their peak, cryptocurrency scams are no longer the most common type of investment fraud.

Fraudsters imitate banks’ websites and brochures rather than planning intricate cryptocurrency scams to persuade victims to part with their cash. Detectives have located well over 20 UK bank accounts used by the crooks, but they have not yet taken down the scheme.

Ireland’s Traditional Banking Clients Need to be More Careful

Fraudsters Prey on Ireland's Traditional Banking Clients Rather Than Crypto Investors

Customers should be wary of banking workers who pressure them into acting hastily and without thinking. This method is typically employed by scammers to deceive investors, according to the Bank of Ireland.

An Australian bank has asserted that 40% of scams “touch” cryptocurrency while Ireland investigates the rising number of frauds targeting banking consumers.

On June 26, Sophie Gilder, managing director of blockchain and digital assets at Commonwealth Bank, spoke on a panel at the Australian Blockchain Week:

“One in three of the dollars that are scammed from Australians touch crypto, one in three. So, it’s the single largest lever that we must reduce this impact on our customers.”

Data from the Australian Financial Crimes Exchange, according to Nigel Dobson, banking services portfolio lead at ANZ, indicate that the percentage may be much higher, at 40%.

In conclusion, the revelation that scammers now favor banking customers over crypto investors in Ireland underscores the dynamic nature of financial fraud. In addition, it shows that the crypto ecosystem is not the only financial niche susceptible to scams. As we’ve seen, scammers adapt to changing circumstances, exploiting vulnerabilities as they arise.

While this report serves as a crucial warning to the Irish public, it should also serve as a call to action for financial institutions, regulators, and individuals alike. Heightened awareness, robust cybersecurity measures, and vigilant reporting are essential to counter these evolving threats.

By remaining informed and collectively addressing this emerging challenge, Ireland can better protect its citizens and maintain the integrity of its financial systems. It is a testament to the resilience of society that, as scammers evolve, so too can the collective response to safeguard individuals against their malicious intent.