'Be safe and look for padlock symbol when buying Black Friday goods online' - gardaí
Gardaí have urged consumers to take extra care when using their bank cards online for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale events.
The shopping day is expected to see the average Irish person spend almost €300 today.
According to FraudSmart, a fraud awareness initiative led by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, some 80pc of card fraud occurs when the owner isn't present in store - and gardaí are encouraging shoppers to take care over the weekend.
Detective Superintendent Gerard Walsh, of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, said safety when shopping online is not always "a given" and there are a number of risks to consider when making payments.
"It is vital people exercise caution shopping online and follow the fraud prevention advices provided," he said.
Advice from gardaí and the FraudSmart team for safe online shopping include: "Do not click on links or adverts from social media. Independently go to the website offering the deal. Be secure: Use a secure website.
"Look for the padlock symbol and the 'S' in HTTPS. Don't use public wifi when making payments, always switch to 3G/4G.
"Remember to regularly check statements for any frauds or suspicious activity."
Gardaí have also issued advice to online retailers on how they can protect their consumers from fraud.
"Beware of any purchases of bulk items or large quantities of the items or random goods," they said. "Small cost purchases followed by larger purchases by the same user could indicate someone testing a compromised card.
"If you capture IP addresses check them online to see where they are registered. If the billing/delivery address is in a different country, this could indicate a problem.
"Don't hesitate to contact the customer by phone and ask them to confirm their payment details."
BSI Cybersecurity and Information Resilience also outlined a guide to safer online shopping. It said: "Share only basic personal data when making a payment. Only share the information needed to complete the purchase and avoid giving your bank details. Use your card, but don't let the website store these details."