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Ho Ho Hoax Gardaí warn public of online shopping scams in lead up to Christmas

An Garda Síochána and Europol are asking customers and online retailers to follow a series of fraud prevention tips.

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Gardaí have warned people to be vigilant while online shopping as the festive season approaches.

As part of Europol’s eCommerce Action 2021, An Garda Síochána will support a media campaign aimed at promoting safe online shopping and providing fraud prevention advice to online retailers and eCommerce businesses.

In the lead up to Christmas and the Black Friday sales which will take place later this month, the law enforcement agencies are asking customers and online retailers to follow a series of fraud prevention tips.

Shoppers are advised to research the brands they are shopping from by checking that the shop’s website is legitimate and looking into the seller’s reviews and ratings.

Customers should always use the shop’s recommended payment site. If this isn’t possible, gardaí recommended using a credit card as most card issuers have strong customer protection policies in place.

Buyers should make sure not to share any card or personal details on the website if a purchase has not been made and save all documents related to online purchases safely.

Online retailers should take the necessary steps to choose safe payment methods and verify the identity of customers.

They should also use a trustworthy delivery service which will offer professional handling of merchandise.

Lastly, gardaí urge consumers not to send money to people they don’t know and warn against sharing card details by email or text.

Speaking today, GNECB Detective Chief Superintendent Lordan said: “I certainly welcome this Europol initiative and would urge consumers and businesses to be extra careful when conducting online transactions and pay heed to the valuable advice offered on the Europol website to help avoid the many pitfalls involved.”

Further information can be found here.

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