new way to steal

Garda tips to avoid getting your e-wallet emptied this Christmas

The rise banking apps has resulted in an increase of fraud and theft offences.

GARDAÍ HAVE URGED people to be vigilant with their mobile phones this Christmas as theft and fraud offences relating to mobile phone apps are on the rise. 

Many people will receive a new phone around Christmas time as a gift. However, gardaí have warned people to be careful about how they use their new device in public. 

Mobile phones now have applications which act as an electronic wallet carrying details of bank accounts and bank cards.

Gardaí have advised people to ensure passwords and codes for Apple Pay, Revolut, and any other banking apps are all different and completely different to the PIN to access the mobile device.

A spokesperson said; “Your mobile phone is probably the most expensive item in your possession when you go out socialising. Would you hand your wallet, containing your bank cards and the PIN codes to a stranger?”

Officers had the following pieces of advice for people this festive season:

  • Always protect your pin codes, when accessing your phone
  • Don’t let others see you input your pins
  • Don’t open your phone and hand it over to another person
  • Have limits set to what can be transferred
  • Don’t save pins, etc. on phone – always input them each time

Gardaí in Dublin have been cracking down on this form of theft and said they have arrested several people in the south central area of the capital. 

The so-called hugger muggers are still out in force also, gardáí have warned. 

This is where they target people outside pubs and nightclubs and approach them for a hug. They, or a partner, then pickpocket the phone and walk away. They almost always target areas where there is a high chance that their intended victim has consumed alcohol and may be in a more vulnerable position.

Many people have also been targeted by criminals as they cross a street. Often, these muggers will cycle by someone, snatch the phone and then be able to make their getaway.

Gardaí have advised all those going out on Christmas nights out to be vigilant and not to fall for such tricks.

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