ALERT: Kilkenny shoppers warned of sophisticated new ‘Black Friday’ scams
Kilkenny consumers looking to get some bargains from Black Friday or Cyber Monday are being warned to be extra vigilant to online scams this year.
An alert has been issued by FraudSmart, a fraud awareness initiative led by the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) and supported by An Garda Síochána, which urges Kilkenny consumers to be “extremely cautious” in the weeks ahead.
It is expected well over €4 billion will be spent online and payments made by card in Ireland during November and December.
Fraudsmart is asking people to be very aware when making payments on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and to make purchases using only secure websites, where ‘https’ and a padlock symbol are on display.
Detective Chief Superintendent Pat Lordan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said: “People should be particularly careful when high value products are offered at prices significantly under market value and when there is a demand for payment in advance to a person or entity that are not known or not clearly identifiable”.
“In the region of 75% of all card fraud occurs online, so serious caution is required when purchasing goods or services. The large volumes of online purchases expected to be made this week means fraudsters will be attempting to lure consumers into fraudulent websites, while posing as authentic suppliers. ”
Just last week Fraudsmart issued another alert in the run up to Black Friday, this time warning people about online scammers targetting their bank accounts through text, email and landlines.
Fraudsmart is urging people not to respond to these messages and advises shoppers who have received messages to contact their bank branch first, by calling their offices after looking up the phone number, and to never call back a number provided in a mail, a text or over the phone.
They also warn people to resist clicking links and never trust a mail, text or call which says it is ‘urgent.’
Niamh Davenport of FraudSMART said: “Always be wary of any unexpected calls or texts which appear to be your bank especially those asking for personal details or payments.
“Your bank will never ask for your personal information so never give your financial or personal information in order to release money, refund fees, or access to your computer.
“Fraudsters are very convincing but don’t be afraid to take the time to make the relevant checks. The scammer will try to rush you, but this is all designed to panic you into doing something you wouldn’t otherwise do.”