New research from AIB has revealed that four in five people in Ireland have been targeted by fraudsters within the last year, having received either a text, call or email they believed to be fraudulent. 

Fraud losses on Irish consumers' credit and debit cards amounted to €22m last year, according to industry data.

The research, which was carried out by Amárach on behalf of AIB, also revealed that those over the age of 55 were more likely to be targeted by fraudsters.

85% of this age group said that they have received some form of fraudulent communication within the last year. 

But AIB stressed that customers across all age categories are still being targeted by fraudsters, with 80% of those between the ages of 18-34 also reporting that they have received a fraudulent communication in the past year.

AIB said that encouragingly, the research shows that 98% of people do not respond to fraudulent communications such as text, calls or emails.

But it added that vigilance and awareness is still vital as 2% is still a high number of people compared to the overall population. 

AIB said that 63% of people ignored the fraudulent text, call or email, while 16% reported it to their bank. 

11% consulted with a family member to see if it was fraudulent, while 2% replied to the communication as they thought it was genuine. 

The bank said that overall people have a good awareness of how to protect themselves against fraud.

86% of people said they were aware that their bank will never text them a link, while 77% said they knew that a fraudulent message can appear among genuine messages from their bank, using a method known as "smishing".

"More people are shopping or making payments online as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions, and fraudsters have seized on this opportunity to send consumers fraudulent messages", Sean Jevens, Head of Digital Engagement at AIB, said. 

Sean Jevens said that people can follow simple steps to ensure they are not the victim of fraud, including not clicking any links that may appear to come from their bank, hanging up on any calls they think are not genuine and ringing back a number only after checking it aligns with the number on the organisation's website. 

He also said that customers should never share their passwords, login details or one time pass codes with anyone, even their bank.