Protect yourself against Phishing, Smishing & Vishing
Online buyers and sellers given top safety tips for Christmas and New Year shopping With large volumes of online buying and selling expected in the weeks before Christmas and in the New Year, a new campaign is aiming to help Irish consumers stay safe online. Crimestoppers, An Garda Síochána and Ireland’s main online classified websites including ourselves at DoneDeal, are giving consumers practical advice to follow when they’re buying or selling presents or unwanted gifts online. Some of the most popular items bought and sold online in Ireland include cars, clothes, phones, furniture and bikes. While the vast majority of transactions occur with no issue, a limited number of online fraud does occur. So far in 2014 Gardai have recorded over 20 incidents of vehicles being purchased with fake bank drafts and sold on to unsuspecting purchasers for cash, with a similar number being reported last year. Top tips for people considering buying and selling online include: Face-to-face contact with the person you are buying from or selling to can reduce the likelihood of you transacting will someone involved in illegal activity. When carrying out a transaction, make sure you meet people in a public area, preferably somewhere that has CCTV cameras. If someone wishes to pay by bank draft, meet them at the bank so that you can verify its authenticity before handing over the item for sale. Make sure you get to meet the person selling or buying the item themselves, and not a person acting on their behalf. Take their photo if possible. If you have a concern about the bona fides of a buyer or seller, do not go through with the transaction. If you suspect that a buyer or seller is engaging in illegal activity, call your local Garda station. Be aware of “Phishing” or “Smishing” attempts – (if someone sends you a text, email asking you to input your details for any unexpected reason) See Example here. As always, the golden rule has to be:
“If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!”. Gardaí are working closely with all of the online buying and selling sites to counteract this type of illegal activity, and to provide advice to members of the public. A Crimestoppers spokesperson said: “If you are buying or selling items online and come across an activity that appears to be illegal, please call your local Garda station. By contacting the Gardai with information, you will help to make the buying and selling of goods through classified sales online safer for everyone.” We know that while the vast majority of people have a positive experience when buying and selling goods through classified advertising, there are occasions when buyers or sellers can be misled and taken advantage of. DoneDeal urges members of the public to read the advice issued by An Garda Siochana, as well as the safety guidelines issued on our website.