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An Garda Síochána and Europol Promote Safe Online Shopping this Christmas

An Garda Síochána wish to support Europol in a Europe wide campaign to promote safe online shopping during the Christmas season and beyond from the perspective of consumers and of businesses.

In the period from 1st January 2020 until 31st October 2020, 489 Online Shopping Frauds have been reported to An Garda Síochána. The average loss was €2,306 per incident representing an overall loss to Irish citizens of €1,127,972.

The business community are 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 2020, 346 Card Not Present Frauds have been reported to An Garda Síochána in Ireland 2020 to date, representing an average loss of €1,083 or a total of €374,751.

As we enter this busy season, consumers and businesses will be particularly active online and An Garda Síochána and Europol advise consumers to follow the golden rules for online shopping.

The Golden Rules:

1. Buy from trusted sources
2. Understand risk and think twice before purchasing
3. Check the seller’s reviews and ratings
4. Ensure data transfer is secure
5. Save all documents related to online purchases
6. If you don’t make a purchase, don’t leave identity or card details behind
7. Check the website payment security
8. Never send card details by email, text or other messaging methods
9. Don’t send money to someone  you don’t know – check first
10. Use credit cards when purchasing online


See further details at https://www.europol.europa.eu/eCommerce

Businesses are warned to protect their sales and revenues by identifying risks: know their product, know their customers, utilise safe means of payment and use reliable delivery methods. Consumers and businesses must protect their personal data during transactions other than the normal data required to complete a transaction.  This site provides advice on all aspects of online shopping.


Online Shopping Fraud in Ireland

Examples – Consumers – Online Shopping Fraud

A 69-year-old male from Co. Laois purchased a JCB online for €15,000. The JCB was not delivered as requested. A website had been set up to advertise machinery from a fake company.

A 24-year-old female from Kerry purchased two tickets via Facebook. Money was transferred online through AIB online, directly to the account of the seller. The two concert tickets have not been received and the seller can’t be contacted. Fake identity used to open the bank account.

A 52-year-old female from Leitrim was buying a present for a child and found a Playstation Pro 4 on an online trading forum. She engaged with the seller through the messaging app on the forum and transferred €240 to a bank account. The Playstation never arrived and the seller has gone offline and will not reply to messages.

Examples – Businesses - Card Not Present Fraud

A bank account was compromised and the account details were used to book an overnight stay in a hotel in Galway to the value of €342.00. The holder of the account was refunded by the bank. This cost may be placed with the hotel, who accepted the account details, in the charge back process.

A female was informed by her bank that a fraudulent transaction had occurred on her debit card for €70.00 at a business premises. Her card number, expiry date and security number had been identified by a fraudster. The bank or the business will suffer this loss.

An online gift company identified a transaction to the value of €3,008 and became suspicious. Having carried out checks, the company stopped the transaction and returned the money to the bank. No loss was suffered. 

Infographics can be found on the Garda website: https://www.garda.ie/!0MBQZQ

Details of the Europol #SellSafe awareness campaign can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/y4uflp3m