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

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.”


Retailers can also be the target of online frauds when it comes to purchases of goods online. Compromised credit cards of requests to pay for goods and services using money transfer services can result in significant losses for online sellers. To avoid those losses, some basic steps should be kept in mind by online retailers and private sellers.

  • Beware of any purchases of bulk items or large quantities of the items or random goods
  • Check any purchases of high-value goods or goods that can easily be resold
  • Be cautious with purchases using credit/debit cards issues overseas or in a different name than the purchaser
  • Check that delivery and billing addresses are the same.
  • Check addresses and usernames online using Google to see if any reports or complaints.
  • Require postcodes with addresses. Use Google maps to make sure the address is correct
  • Be cautious of bulk purchases of gift cards and guest logins rather than users creating accounts
  • 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 such as card number, bank name, card expiry date etc. Genuine customers will usually know these details immediately.

Retail Excellence spokesperson Lorraine Higgins said ‘Our retailers want to ensure consumers can shop online safe in the knowledge that their personal and financial details are safe, as Irelands largest retail representative body, we wholeheartedly support initiatives like this SOS campaign. We would advise retailers to be vigilant, particularly at this busy festive period and if you suspect something is not as it seems then do not hesitate to contact An Garda Síochána’.