Shoppers should be extra vigilant when purchasing goods online following a rise in fraudulent activity, a Fine Gael TD has said. Emer Higgins, Fine Gael spokesperson on Social Media and Finance Technology, said people need be fully aware of how they can be scammed when making online transactions. Deputy Higgins said, “Last year we saw a total of €22 million in credit and debit cards losses due to fraud and the Gardaí tell us that there was a 50% increase in these crimes over the Christmas period alone.
“Recently was Fraud Awareness Week and we’re all doing more online shopping these days with many starting to shop online for the first time. But even if you’re a seasoned digital shopper, it’s important not to let your guard down because there are scammers out there. “Targeting and tracking down these fraudsters is always the priority. But there are things that shoppers can do to protect themselves and be more aware when making online transactions. “To start, always make sure you’re using a secure website and that the ‘https’ is present at the start of the web address as well as the padlock symbol, that’s how you know the website is safe.
“Make sure your payment method is secure and never transfer money directly to a third party. And when you can, use an online payment option such as Paypal which will protect you and your purchase. “Make sure you’re keeping a record of your purchase and never use public Wi-Fi when paying for anything online. “Trust your instincts and if something feels unsafe or unofficial then think again before you press pay. Always err on the side of caution,” Deputy Higgins concluded.