Bank of Ireland have placed restrictions on the debit cards of a number of their customers amid fraud fears.

The bank has said that there is currently “heightened precautionary activity due to the increase in third party data breaches, for example Ticketmaster and Marriott Hotel Group data breaches”.

Online and less functionality has been removed from an undisclosed amount of cards but customers affected can still use their existing card for chip and pin transactions via ATM or at a shop terminal.

Affected customers were ed by the bank via a “proactive care message” to make them aware of the actions being taken.

New cards are currently being issued to the homes of those affected, a process that will take up to five working days.

A bank spokesperson said that a risk of fraud can arise, for example, if an ATM is tampered with or through a third party data breach.

“Receiving one of these precautionary messages does not mean that your card has been used fraudulently,” the spokesperson said.

“We understand that this is an inconvenience however it is temporary and implemented in order to protect the customer from fraud.”

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