Gardaí have issued a number of ‘golden rules’ for online shopping in the run-up to Christmas.
Victims can be defrauded in a number of ways, including items not being delivered, and counterfeit goods being delivered.
Fraudsters can also make their own purchases with the victim’s credit or debit card if they have their details.
Between 1 January and 31 October this year, 550 instances of online shopping fraud were reported to An Garda Síochána.
The average loss was €1,537 per incident, representing an overall loss to Irish citizens of over €845,000.
The business community is frequently targeted by fraudsters using stolen or compromised credit cards, bank accounts or payments, in what is called card not present fraud.
Businesses who are victims of this fraud will suffer losses under the ‘charge back’ process.
In the first 10 months of 2022, 1,356 card not present frauds were reported to Gardaí, with victims losing a total of €1,300,500.
Golden rules for online shopping
Buy from trusted sources. Make sure the website you are on is real, and not cloned or fake.
Make sure there is an “https” at the beginning of the web address and a padlock symbol displayed beside the URL before the purchase is made – this indicates a secure connection. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is nothing more than the address of a given unique resource on the Web.
Look for the trust seals to determine the website is real. Trust seals are commonly placed on homepages, login pages, and checkout pages. They’re immediately recognizable and they remind visitors that they are secure on this page. You can click on them to see if they are real.