Last minute online shopping? Here are some tips to protect your money from fraudsters

Shoppers making last-minute purchases before Christmas have been urged to protect their card details as debit and credit card fraud continues to rise.

The Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) this year published guidelines for people paying for gifts online.

The BFPI, which is the main representative body for the banking and financial services industry in Ireland, reported near record levels of payment card fraud last year as many people stopped using cash and made more online shopping at the height of the pandemic.

Their latest report showed how card fraud hit € 24million in 2020, with the vast majority of them taking place online. The latest figures show more than a quarter of a million fraudulent debit and credit card transactions that were not made by the cardholder.

The figures are the highest since the second half of 2017, warned BPFI.

The numbers mean card fraud losses increased 9% in 2020, with the vast majority (96%) attributable to online card fraud which rose 21% to 23.1 million. euros.

The BPFI, along with gardaí, urged anyone considering making the last of their online purchases to be extremely careful and remember one golden rule: if something sounds too good to be true, then it usually is. the case.

Common scams

The BPFI has warned that criminals often take advantage of paid events, especially if they are full, such as concerts, festivals, sporting events and live comedies.

“You buy your ticket online from a private seller or what looks like a website or agent for the event. You pay your money, but either the tickets never arrive, or they turn out to be fake, ”warned the payment organization.

The trick here is to buy only from authorized sellers, the group urged.

Advertisements selling miracle health or beauty products are common, especially on social media and through online advertising. They claim miraculous benefits and they give you a free trial.

“All you have to do is pay for the mail and the packaging or for the insurance, but once they have your card details you could end up paying a lot more. In some cases you will not receive anything in return, in others you will receive a product but it does not do what you expected and you find that you have inadvertently signed an ongoing contract that is difficult to get out of ”, the BPFI warned.

Speaking on the latest figures on card fraud and how consumers can stay safe while shopping online this Christmas, Gillian Byrne, Payments Manager, BPFI said: Are a stark reminder that consumers must be on high alert during the busiest online shopping times of the year.

“With concerns about rising Covid numbers attracting more and more consumers online, fraudsters are once again stepping up their efforts to take advantage of this surge in online shopping. “

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The BPFI has published the following tips to protect your money when shopping online:

  • Use secure websites. Website address must be “https” before purchase is made, indicating a secure connection
  • Use sites where a padlock symbol is displayed next to the website address
  • Never use public Wi-Fi when making payments – switch to 3G / 4G on your phone if necessary
  • Independently visit the online sales company’s website instead of clicking on social media or pop-up ads
  • Be careful when claiming outrageous offers – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
  • Stick to well-known websites or websites you know or websites associated with retail outlets.

Custody inquiries

Since the start of the pandemic, Gardaí has ​​warned the public to be wary of crooks and fraudsters operating both in person and online.

Polls have shown the vast majority of the nation has received fraudulent phone calls

The most common fraudulent call in recent weeks was one of the pre-recorded messages believed to be from the Ministry of Social Protection.

Recent Red C poll on behalf of The newspaper shows that half of those surveyed received a fraudulent call in the past week from the numbers 083/085/086/087/089.

Garda’s official opinion on these calls is as follows:

  • Do not communicate with the caller.
  • Do not return the call.
  • Do not follow automated instructions – Do not press 1 etc.
  • Never transfer money.
  • Never give out personal or financial information.
  • Hang up and block the number if possible.

“While crooks may change their stories and methods, their goal is still the same,” according to a Garda press office release, “they want access to your sensitive information and get their hands on your money.”

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