Gardaí warn of online shopping fraud as holiday season approaches

Galway Daily news Gardaí warn of online shopping fraud as holiday season approaches

An Gardaí Síochána and Europol are working together to promote safe online shopping and prevent fraud in the run up to the holiday season.

As part of Europol’s eCommerce Action 2021, Gardaí are providing shoppers and retailers alike with fraud prevention advice.

More and more businesses are using the internet as their main avenue of sales, and online shopping is going to be particularly busy as we approach Christmas and the Black Friday sales period.

However, the online marketplace also provides opportunities for fraud by people who can use the anonymous nature of the internet to rip off consumers, or retailers who don’t have the necessary safeguards in place.

Detective Chief Superintendent Lordan of the GNECB said that he welcomes the Europol initiative, and would urge everyone to be extra careful when conducting online transactions.

“Pay heed to the valuable advices offered on the Europol website to help avoid the many pitfalls involved,” he said.

For the Online Shopper

The Golden Rules of Online Shopping
  • Understand risks involved – do some research – use brands and shops that are familiar to you
  • Check to ensure the website is genuine  – type the address yourself and check the spelling
  • Check the seller’s reviews and ratings
  • Be careful how you pay – always use the websites recommended payment site – if none, use credit cards when purchasing as most cards have strong customer protection policy
  • Save all documents related to online purchases
  • If you don’t make a purchase, don’t leave identity or card details behind
  • Never send card details by email, text or other messaging methods
  • Don’t send money to someone you don’t know – check first
For the Online Retailer / eCommerce Merchant
  • Know your product – Some products are risker than others ie. easily resaleable small items may present a higher fraud risk
  • Know your customer – If you accept card payments for high value goods you would really want to know who you are selling to – wouldn’t you?
  • Establish a safe means of payment– Your card processor can advise when choosing a safe means of payment
  • Use a reliable delivery service  – Use a delivery service which you can be assured will offer professional handling of your merchandise

Further advice and details can be found here.