ONLINE SHOPPERS are being urged purchase products on secure websites, as they prepare for the annual Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
In a statement by An Garda Siochana, who has teamed up with the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) as part of the FraudSmart initiative, consumers in Ireland are expected to splash out over €4bn between November and December online.
Between November and December 2018, €12bn was spent using cards, with €4bn spent on e-commerce.
In the first nine months of this year, €41.3bn was spent using cards, €20.1bn of which was spent on e-commerce, according to Olivia Buckley, head of fraud prevention FraudSmart this Tuesday evening.
Ms Buckley said: "In the region of 75% of all card fraud occurs online, so serious caution is required when purchasing goods or services. The large volumes of online purchases expected to be made this week means fraudsters will be attempting to lure consumers into fraudulent websites, while posing as authentic suppliers. The most popular goods purchased online are clothes and sportswear, along with household goods."
Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Lordan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said: "As the pre-Christmas rush draws thousands of shoppers online, we urge that people be aware of the potential for fraud, whether they are buying or selling a product. People should be particularly careful when high value products are offered at prices significantly under market value and when there is a demand for payment in advance to a person or entity that are not known or not clearly identifiable”.
Here is some critical pieces of advice for online shoppers
• Use secure websites. The website address should be ‘https’ before the purchase is made, indicating a secure connection
• Use sites where a padlock symbol is shown beside the website address
• Do not under any circumstances use public Wi-Fi when making payments - switch to 3G/4G on your phone if necessary
• Independently visit the website of the online sales company as opposed to clicking on social media or pop-up adverts
• Be cautious about claiming outrageous offers - if it sounds too good to be true it probably is
• Stick to well-known websites or websites that you are familiar with or websites associated with high street retail outlets