Skip to main content

Cyber Monday: Safe Online Shopping (SOS) – Advice to Consumers

On Tuesday 21st November, An Garda Síochána in association with the Banking & Payments Federation of Ireland and Retail Excellence are launching the S.O.S. (Safe Online Shopping) campaign. In advance of Cyber Monday, 27th November 2017, the public and retailers are reminded to shop and sell on line safely, making every effort to protect their financial and personal details.

Sergeant Kelvin Courtney of the Garda Crime Prevention National Centre of Excellence said “Cyber Monday and the run up to Christmas is a time when increased numbers of consumers go online to get the last minute deal. Shopping on line is safe so long as we use our Credit/Debit cards correctly. We are asking people to take greater precautions when shopping online then they would if purchasing in the shops.”

Advice for Online Consumers

Detective Superintendent Michael Gubbins, Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau, said “An Garda Síochána and its partners in Europol are actively targeting cybercrimes such as online fraud. The public need to be aware that the proceeds from these fraudulent activities go to fund organised criminal gangs.”

He advised online consumers to follow the 12 Golden Rules of Safe Online Shopping

The DO’s  

  • Only buy from trusted sources, shops or brands that you are familiar with
  • Use credit cards when purchasing things online
  • Make sure the data transfer is appropriately protected. Look for the padlock symbol
  • Think twice before allowing e-merchant stores to store your payment details
  • Be aware how to control the recurring charge if paying for a continuous service online
  • Always save all documents related to your online purchases.

The DON’Ts

  • If you are not buying a specific product or service, don’t submit your card details
  • Avoid doing your online shopping at sites that don’t use full authentication
  • Never send your Card number, PIN or any other card information to anyone by email
  • When purchasing something online from another person, do not send money up front
  • Never send your card details in an unencrypted email
  • Don’t send money to anyone you don’t know online



  • Regularly check statements and transactions for any frauds or suspicious activity
  • If you have a suspicion about an online transaction check your account online to ascertain if the payment was made to the genuine retailer.
  • Report suspicious transactions to your local Garda station and to your bank or card processor.

The Internet provides a safe and convenient forum for people to shop and communicate with friends and family. A recent CSO household survey found that 79% of people who made purchases on line did not experience any problems, while just 2% reported fraudulent activity.

Niamh Davenport, Fraud Awareness and Payments Manager, Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, advised consumers and businesses, “that it is often a simple or easy measure that people can take to protect against fraud and it is important that consumers know these to avoid being vulnerable to fraudsters. top tips include – Never give your personal details or banking security details such as full banking password, codes /logon details, or PIN to anyone. – Be wary of unexpected emails, calls or texts.  Always independently check the person is who they say they are before engaging with them and as always – If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”