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Gardaí issue warning to online shoppers over courier payment scam

Gardaí are aware of a scam in which people are asked to pay additional cost for customs clearance.

Image: Shutterstock/leungchopan

GARDAÍ HAVE ISSUED a warning to online shoppers about potential risk to their personal and payment data over a scam in relation to courier companies. 

An Garda Síochána said they have become aware of a scam that is operating where emails and texts are being circulated under the branding of various courier companies. 

In these emails and texts, it is requested that the recipient has to pay an additional cost for customs clearance prior to the delivery of their parcel. 

In some instances, these emails and texts have been circulated in Irish. 

Recipients are asked not to provide payment details, to take a screenshot of the text/email and delete it. 

Anyone who believes they have been a victim of fraud is asked to report the matter to their local Garda station. 

Gardaí said these scams take advantage of the confusion around Brexit and these this uncertainty to defraud people. 

An Garda Síochána is advising the following: 

  • Those who receive unsolicited correspondence and are awaiting a package to first independently verify the status of their package with the relevant postal service or courier.
  • Never click on links in an unsolicited text or email, never provide payment details or give away personal data like your PIN, card numbers or passwords.
  • Do not respond to such messages and delete straight away.
  • Never open attachments in unsolicited emails and to make sure your computer has the most up-to-date anti-virus software installed.
  • Be wary of unsolicited phone calls.

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People are being asked to only use secure sites and to make sure they are on the real site. They are also being asked to check these sites’ privacy policy, refunds policy and contact us section. 

Gardaí are also advising the following: 

  • Use trusted payment methods and never send cash.
  • Use sites where a padlock symbol is shown beside the website address.
  • Do not under any circumstances use public wi-fi when making payments – switch to 3G/4G on your phone if necessary.
  • Independently visit the website of the online sales company as opposed to clicking on social media or pop-up adverts.
  • Be cautious about claiming outrageous offers – if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
  • Stick to well-known websites or websites that you are familiar with or websites associated with high street retail outlets.

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