Here's how to shop safely online, according to the Gardaí

An Garda Síochána have issued some safety tips for consumers shopping online in the run-up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The guidelines, issued in association with the FraudSMART, a fraud awareness initiative led by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, outlines how shoppers can protect their financial and personal details while shopping on the internet.

Detective Superintendent Gerard Walsh of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said: "Buying online is a very convenient way to shop particularly in the busy run-up to Christmas.

"However, shopping safely online is not a given, as there are inherent risks.

"It is vital that people exercise caution when shopping online and follow the fraud prevention advice provided.”

    An Garda Síochána’s top tips for shopping online include:

  • Be Informed:

  • 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
  • Be Alert:
  • 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
  • Be Secure:
  • 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
  • REMEMBER
  • 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, of the FraudSMART programme, said: "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.”

- Digital Desk

More in this Section

Man arrested after school gate murder

Man escapes car that entered the sea in Co Clare

Personalities may change but the issues remain, says Coveney in wake of May's Therexit

Supreme Court to consider state bid for appeal over Graham Dwyer data ruling


Lifestyle

All of the most opulent and OTT gowns from the Cannes Film Festival

H&M has announced its latest incredible designer collaboration – and it goes on sale tomorrow

Ask an expert: What’s the best way to quickly potty train my toddler?

Album review: Flying Lotus - Flamagra

More From The Irish Examiner