Gardaí issue fraud advice for online shoppers

It's part of a new European initative.

Gardaí have launched a new campaign urging people and businesses to be aware of online fraud.

The Europol eCommerce Action 2021 is a Europe wide initiative aimed at promoting safe online shopping, targeted at online retailers and eCommerce businesses.

More and more businesses are using the internet as the primary channel to sell goods and services.

Gardaí say “whilst convenient for both the consumer and retailer it also presents opportunities for fraudsters who can use the anonymous nature of the internet to rip off consumers or target retailers who do not have the necessary defences in place to protect themselves”.

In the lead up to Christmas and in particular the Black Friday sales promotion period, consumers and eCommerce merchants will be particularly active online.

Gardaí and Europol have issued advice to consumers and online retailers:

For the Online Shopper

The Golden Rules of Online Shopping

Understand risks involved - do some research – use brands and shops that are familiar to you

Check to ensure the website is genuine - type the address yourself and check the spelling

Check the seller’s reviews and ratings

Be careful how you pay – always use the websites recommended payment site – if none, use credit cards when purchasing as most cards have strong customer protection policy

Save all documents related to online purchases

If you don’t make a purchase, don’t leave identity or card details behind

Never send card details by email, text or other messaging methods

Don’t send money to someone you don’t know – check first

For the Online Retailer / eCommerce Merchant

Know your product - Some products are risker than others ie. easily resaleable small items may present a higher fraud risk

Know your customer – If you accept card payments for high value goods you would really want to know who you are selling to – wouldn’t you?

Establish a safe means of payment – Your card processor can advise when choosing a safe means of payment

Use a reliable delivery service – Use a delivery service which you can be assured will offer professional handling of your merchandise

Speaking today, Detective Chief Superintendent Lordan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau 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 advices offered on the Europol website to help avoid the many pitfalls involved”.