Gardai issue URGENT warning about shopping online ahead of the Christmas rush

4th Dec 17 | News

Be VERY careful!

Gardai have issued an urgent warning to online consumers over the safety of using their mobile phones as their main shopping tool this christmas.

Ahead of the busy festive period, An Garda Síochána launched the SOS (Safe Online Shopping) campaign in an effort to raise awareness of cyber safety. 

Detective Garda Jim O’Meara of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, said:

“We would caution people to protect their personal and financial details online.

If purchasing online only trust your own Wi-Fi networks as opposed to public Wi-Fi where you could be vulnerable to having your payment card details compromised and then sold on the dark web.

Here, they can be accessed by criminals who go on to use the compromised payment card details either online, over the phone, or even through mail order transactions.”

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.