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Online shoppers warned to beware of Black Friday ‘bargains’

Black Friday bargain hunters have been warned to be alert to fraudsters preying on online shoppers.

Galway Gardaí also advised Christmas shoppers to take precautions against online scammers.

Cybercrime was not impacted by Covid-19, the annual public meeting of the County Galway Joint Policing Committee (JPC) heard in the Claregalway Hotel on Monday night.

Senior Data Analyst Olivia Maher, on behalf of Chief Superintendent Gerald Roche, said that there had been about 100 incidents of fraud detected in the first 10 months of this year.

That was down by about 32% compared with last year but she said there wasn’t enough data available to give a long-term trend.

Ms Maher said that frauds such as smishing (fraudulent practice of using text messages purporting to be from a reputable company to induce people to reveal personal information such as credit card numbers or bank passwords) was becoming very sophisticated. People who aren’t normally fooled by these scams have fallen victim to them because of their sophistication, she said.

She warned people to be aware of scams such as emails purporting to be reputable companies offering bargains or deals via links sent through emails.

Clicking these links can bring people through to websites where scammers obtain passwords and access their credit cards, passwords or accounts.

Chief Supt Roche warned people shopping online during Black Friday (November 25) and Cyber Monday (November 28) sales, and for those shopping online for Christmas to be vigilant to fraud.

“If it’s too good to be true, it usually is,” he said.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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