Gardaí appeal to the public to be vigilant against scams while shopping online this Christmas

Gardaí appeal to the public to be vigilant against scams while shopping online this Christmas

The public are reminded to be vigilant when shopping online this Christmas. 

With online shopping increasing since the Covid-19 outbreak, An Garda Síochána is urging the public to be vigilant and on the look-out for any potential scams this Christmas.

In a fresh warning, gardaí at the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) have advised people to never click on or respond to an unsolicited text or email, and to never give away personal data like their PIN, card numbers or passwords. 

Instead, gardaí suggest people should take a screenshot of any unsolicited text/email, delete it, and report it to their local Garda Station.

In order to keep safe this Christmas, gardaí say there is some other critical pieces of advice people can follow. 

This includes ensuring a website looks legitimate by checking its trusted seal, to always use trusted payments methods and never cash, to stick to well-known sites and to be cautious of offers which seem too good to be true.

The public is advised to check websites’ privacy policy, in addition to their refunds policy and the section on the site that provides contact details and to never make payments online while using public WIFI.

People are also being advised to ensure computers and other devices have the most up-to-date virus software available.

Using sites where a padlock symbol is shown beside the web address is also an indicator of a website being secure or legitimate, gardaí say. 

With many members of the public donating to different charities and causes during the festive period, gardaí have also asked people to remain cautious and weary of any unsolicited requests.

To avoid any events of a scam, it is best to ensure donations are only made to recongised and legitimate charities, they say. 

"If you encounter a person claiming to be from a charity, look to see their ID and collection permit. If in doubt, do not contribute and contact Gardaí," they said. 

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