Irish consumers lost more than 12 million euros to online credit and debit card scams in six months last year

Consumers have been urged to be very careful during the Easter period.

Irish consumers suffered losses of € 12.2 million from debit and credit card fraud in the first half of 2020, according to the latest figures from the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

While in-store card fraud transactions fell 52% over the period, online card fraud increased 21% due to changes in shopping behavior during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There were over 143,000 fraudulent debit and credit card transactions in the first six months of last year, with 72% of all fraudulent transactions involving the theft of card details.

Speaking of the theft of card details, BPFI Managing Director Brian Hayes explained, “Scammers do this mainly by using fake text messages, email scams or fake websites to get their hands on the details. of a consumer’s card and continue to use those details for fraud. mainly online payments.

“This is a very worrying trend that we are seeing, and we cannot stress enough the need for customers to be on high alert, especially as the popular Easter shopping season approaches and bank holiday weekend to come. “

He added: “And over the past 12 months we’ve seen how criminals have very quickly adapted their scams by taking advantage of this increase in online shopping, as well as remote working and more reachable people via email. .

“This has led to an increase in identity theft scams, with scammers imitating delivery companies for example or trusted organizations such as utility companies or banks via SMS, email and online websites. line.”

While foreclosure restrictions are expected to continue in the coming weeks, meaning more people are shopping online, BPFI and its FraudSMART fraud awareness initiative have released some tips for shoppers for protect against fraud.

They urge people to:

  • use secure websites. The website address must be “https” before the purchase is made, indicating a secure connection.
  • use sites where a padlock symbol is displayed next to the website address.
  • never use public Wi-Fi when making payments – switch to 3G / 4G on your phone if necessary.
  • independently visit the online sales company’s website instead of clicking on social media or pop-up ads.
  • be careful before claiming outrageous offers – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • stick to well-known websites or websites you know or websites associated with retail outlets.

For more tips visit

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David A. Albanese