Gardaí are warning the public to take extra precautions to protect themselves against fraud in the run up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
With online shopping on the increase gardaí are giving some critical pieces of advice that consumers must follow to help protect their finances and their bank account.
· Use secure websites. The website address should be ‘https’ before the purchase is made, indicating a secure connection
· Use sites where a padlock symbol is shown beside the website address
· Do not under any circumstances use public Wi-Fi when making payments - switch to 3G/4G on your phone if necessary
· Independently visit the website of the online sales company as opposed to clicking on social media or pop-up adverts
· Be cautious about claiming outrageous offers - if it sounds too good to be true it probably is
· Stick to well-known websites or websites that you are familiar with or websites associated with high street retail outlets
Consumers can also get advice on how to avoid fraud by visiting www.FraudSMART.ie
The following are the most common fraud scams by which criminals can obtain payment card details.
Phishing is where criminals send unsolicited emails to individuals which purport to have been sent from genuine businesses or individuals. The purpose of these emails is to induce the individuals to reveal personal information such as payment card details, bank account numbers and personal security data. Phishing emails usually appear to have been sent from financial institutions and instruct the recipient to follow a link to a fraudulent website which requests personal and financial information be inputted.
Vishing or Voice Phishing is the criminal practice of using social engineering techniques over the phone in order to obtain the personal, financial or security data from individuals. Social engineering can be described as human to human interaction which attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in human nature in an attempt to obtain personal information.
Smishing or SMS Phishing is a phishing attack whereby a mobile phone user receives an SMS (text) message which purports to have been sent from a genuine business or individual. This message attempts to induce the recipient to follow a link to a website which appears to be legitimate but in under the control of the criminal organisation. This website then requests personal and financial information to be inputted.
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