Donegal online shoppers urged to be careful by gardaí ahead of Christmas

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By staff reporter

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Donegal online shoppers urged to be careful by gardaí ahead of Christmas

Gardaí warn people to be careful online

Experts have warned people in Donegal who shop online to be careful ahead of Cyber Monday on Monday, November 27th and the Christmas rush. 

An Garda Síochána in association with the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland and Retail Excellence have launched the S.O.S. (Safe Online Shopping) in advance of the approaching Christmas season. 

The public and retailers are being reminded to shop and sell online safely, making every effort to protect their financial and personal details. 

Sergeant Kelvin Courtney of the Garda Crime Prevention National Centre of Excellence said: "Cyber Monday and the run up to Christmas is a time when increased numbers of consumers go online to get the last minute deal. Shopping on line is safe so long as we use our Credit/Debit cards correctly. We are asking people to take greater precautions when shopping online then they would if purchasing in the shops.”

Advice for Online Consumers

Detective Superintendent, Michael Gubbins, Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau, said: "An Garda Síochána and its partners in Europol are actively targeting cybercrimes such as online fraud. The public need to be aware that the proceeds from these fraudulent activities go to fund organised criminal gangs.”
He advised online consumers to follow the 12 Golden Rules of Safe Online Shopping:

The DO’s

Only buy from trusted sources, shops or brands that you are familiar with
Use credit cards when purchasing things online
Make sure the data transfer is appropriately protected. Look for the padlock symbol. Think twice before allowing e-merchant stores to store your payment details. 
Be aware how to control the recurring charge if paying for a continuous service online.
Always save all documents related to your online purchases.

The DON’Ts
If you are not buying a specific product or service, don’t submit your card details.

Avoid doing your online shopping at sites that don’t use full authentication. 
Never send your Card number, PIN or any other card information to anyone by email.
When purchasing something online from another person, do not send money up front.
Never send your card details in an unencrypted email.
Don’t send money to anyone you don’t know online.

Customers are urged to 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 and report suspicious transactions to your local garda station and to your bank or card processor.

Further advice/information

www.europol.europa.eufor advice on crime and golden rules of safe online shopping

www.garda.iefor crime prevention advice and contact details of local Garda Stations
www.FraudSMART.iefor advice of fraud prevention
www.retail.excellence.iefor advice for retailers
https://thecai.ie/your-rightsConsumer Association of Ireland