Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has urged customers to be vigilant against financial fraud and scams ahead of Black Friday and to take straightforward steps before making online payments.
Teachta Doherty said:
“Consumers are expected to spend as much as €26 million in the upcoming Black Friday sales.
“Unfortunately, consumers must be hyper-vigilant against fraud and scams as criminals are updating their tactics through scam texts, emails, phone calls and online adverts to lure people into disclosing their personal information and part with their hard-earned money.
“In the second half of 2021, fraudsters stole €45 million through frauds and scams – an increase of 50 percent compared to the previous year.
“Consumers should take steps to protect themselves before making online payments.
“These include using sites that have a padlock symbol beside the website address, using 3G or 4G rather than public WiFi when making payments, and using company websites rather than social media or pop-up adverts.
“For more information on how consumers can be informed and stay alert to avoiding fraud they can visit fraudsmart.ie
“The sharp rise in financial fraud and scams is deeply concerning and requires an updated government strategy to tackle financial crime.
“The incidence of online banking fraud, including through adverts posted on social media and search engine platforms has become more prevalent.
“It is time for the government to put a legal responsibility on online platforms to identify, remove and prevent fraudulent adverts and content on their sites.
“Whereas banks compensate individuals who have been victims of unauthorised payment or card fraud, there is no such requirement for online platforms.
“The government should consider whether online companies should be required to pay compensation where consumers have been victims of fraud through their platforms.”