Sinn Féin Justice spokesperson Martin Kenny has reminded consumers to be vigilant online ahead of Black Friday deals being launched online today and tomorrow. His comments come as Gardai announced the arrest of six individuals in connection with an international investigation related to cybercrime online fraud.
Speaking today, Teachta Kenny said, “Only a few weeks ago, we saw the CSO crime statistics indicate a rise of 22.6% in fraud and deception offences across the state from the second quarter of 2021 and 2022. The HSE is also still reeling from the after affects of the 2021 cyberattack.
“Online fraud is a very real fear for so many consumers – an unsurprising fact given that in the second half of 2021, approximately €45million was stolen through online fraud, according to the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland.
“It is so important for us all as consumers to be vigilant when spending online at all times – not just Black Friday or Cyber Monday. We should all strive to support the Irish online economy as much as possible, and only use websites we know and trust.
“It is of course crucial that if you suspect you have been the victim of fraud, you should contact your local Garda station and bank immediately.
“The six arrests made by Gardai related to a website that provided phone number spoofing services to fraudsters wanting to gain access to peoples’ bank accounts. Many of us have had the text or phone call, supposedly from our bank, requesting PIN information or authorisation codes.
“According to Gardai, this website was a tool to do this for over 21,000 users.
“Great credit is due to the Gardai involved in this operation for their determination and hard work. This includes Gardaí attached to the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB), the Garda National Cyber Crime Bureau (GNCCB) and local resources in Dublin, Meath and Louth.”