Monday 20 May 2019

Tips to help online shoppers avoid becoming victims of fraud in run-up to Christmas

Shopping online
Shopping online

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

Online shoppers have been warned to avoid becoming the victims of fraud in the run-up to the busy festive period.

A campaign launched by the banks has issued tips for ensuring consumers do not end up having money taken from their bank accounts by scammers.

FraudSmart is led by the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland. Consumers have been asked to visit, or follow FraudSMART on Facebook or Twitter.

The following tips have been issued:

* When shopping or making a payment online, make sure your internet access is secure. Look out for the ‘S’ in  HTTPS in the top address bar, and keep an eye out for the padlock.

* Do not use public Wi-Fi networks or hotspots to make purchases online or to access your online banking account. Use a 3G or 4G internet connection instead.

* Keep your computer security up to date.

* Shop with trusted retailers by logging onto to their website rather than clicking through links or downloads.

* Be cautious about emails offering miracle products, or cheap deals on goods. Generally if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Read more: Gardai warn businesses of invoice fraud that cost Irish firms €700,000 last month alone

* Never send your card number, PIN or any other financial information to anyone via email! Your bank would never ask you for your full password or PINs.

* Never send a money transfer for online purchases, always use a known payment supplier, or buy direct from official agents. It’s also advisable to use Verified by VISA or Mastercard Secure Code when shopping online. 

* Don’t get roasted this Christmas by a fake caller. Your bank will never ask you for your full Pin or any online banking passwords. If in doubt, check it out. Call your bank directly.

* Only purchase tickets from reputable websites that are secure (showing a padlock) and before buying do an internet search for reviews on the gig/sporting event to see if anyone has fallen victim to a ticketing scam.

* Do not post too much personal information on social media accounts which could allow your bank accounts or financial information to be compromised;

* Do not save passwords or personal/financial data onto your mobile device unless it is absolutely necessary, and make sure your phone is passcode protected;

* Do not leave your Bluetooth open on your mobile, as cyber-criminals can hack into your device unnoticed. Also install anti-virus software and check the security features.

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