Gardaí issue warning about online shopping scams
Shop safe this Christmas.
With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Christmas season fast approaching, people are polishing their credit cards and getting ready to feed their bank details into the internet without thinking too hard about it.
An Garda Síochána, in partnership with FraudSMART, have issued a laundry list of advice designed to help consumers protect their money over the coming weeks.
• Do your research; only buy from trusted sources, shops or brands that you are familiar with. Use websites that your friends, family or colleagues have used before.
• Do not click on links or adverts from social media. Independently go to the website offering the deal. This will ensure you are not shopping on a fake website.
• Think twice before allowing e-merchant stores to store your payment details
• Read terms and conditions and make sure you are not committing to a series of recurring payments especially where free trials are offered.
• Always save all documents related to your online purchases.
• When purchasing something online from another person, do not send money up front
• Use a secure website. Look for the padlock symbol and the ‘S’ in HTTPS.
• Never send your Card number, PIN or any other card information to anyone by email
• Don’t use public Wi-Fi when making payments, always switch to 3G/4G
• Regularly check statements and transactions for any frauds or suspicious activity
• If you have a suspicion about an online transaction check your account online to ascertain if the payment was made to the genuine retailer.
• Report suspicious transactions to your local Garda station and to your bank or card processor.
Niamh Davenport, leading the FraudSMART programme for Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, advised consumers and businesses that taking simple steps can make all the difference when shopping or selling online, "While Black Friday provides consumers with a great chance to grab a bargain, it can also open up the perfect opportunity for scammers and hackers. It is often a simple or easy measure that people can take to protect against fraud and it is important that consumers know these to avoid being vulnerable to fraudsters.”