Europol | Online Shopping Fraud

As part of Europol’s eCommerce Action 2021, An Garda Síochána will support Europol in a media campaign aimed at promoting safe online shopping by customers and providing fraud prevention advice to online retailers and eCommerce businesses. 

More and more businesses are using the internet as the primary channel to sell goods and services. Whilst convenient for both the consumer and retailer it also presents opportunities for fraudsters who can use the anonymous nature of the internet to rip off consumers or target retailers who do not have the necessary defences in place to protect themselves.

In the lead up to Christmas and in particular the Black Friday sales promotion period, consumers and eCommerce merchants will be particularly active online and with this in mind, An Garda Síochána and Europol advise consumers and online retailers to adhere to online shopping fraud prevention tips.


For the Online Shopper


The Golden Rules of Online Shopping

  • Understand risks involved - do some research – use brands and shops that are familiar to you
  • Check to ensure the website is genuine  - type the address yourself and check the spelling
  • Check the seller’s reviews and ratings
  • Be careful how you pay – always use the websites recommended payment site – if none, use credit cards when purchasing as most cards have strong customer protection policy
  • Save all documents related to online purchases
  • If you don’t make a purchase, don’t leave identity or card details behind
  • Never send card details by email, text or other messaging methods
  • Don’t send money to someone you don’t know – check first


For the Online Retailer / eCommerce Merchant

  • Know your product - Some products are risker than others ie. easily resaleable small items may present a higher fraud risk
  • Know your customer – If you accept card payments for high value goods you would really want to know who you are selling to – wouldn’t you?   
  • Establish a safe means of payment – Your card processor can advise when choosing a safe means of payment
  • Use a reliable delivery service  – Use a delivery service which you can be assured will offer professional handling of your merchandise


Speaking today, Detective Chief Superintendent Lordan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said "I certainly welcome this Europol initiative and would urge consumers and businesses to be extra careful when conducting online transactions and pay heed to the valuable advices offered on the Europol website to help avoid the many pitfalls involved”.


Further advice and details can be found here

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