12 Tips for a Fraud Free Festive Season

Christmas reporter

Reporter:

Christmas reporter

Web week.

Protect yourself against fraud this festive season.

FraudSMART, a new fraud prevention and protection initiative, is kicking off the festive season asking consumers and businesses alike to take note of FraudSMART’s 12 Top Tips to protect themselves against financial fraud this Christmas.

Here are 12 top tips to stop you and your family becoming victims of fraud over the holiday period:

1.      When shopping or making a payment online, make sure your internet access is secure. Look out for the ‘S’ in  HTTPS in the top address bar, and keep an eye out for the padlock symbol - if either are missing, don't proceed with the payment;

2.      Do not use public Wi-Fi networks or hotspots to make purchases online or to access your online banking account. Use a 3G or 4G internet connection instead;

3.      Keep your computer security up to date! Install a reliable antivirus and browser security software, and make you have downloaded your security package’s latest updates so that it can scan your computer regularly for malware;

4.      Shop with trusted retailers by logging onto to their website rather than clicking through links or downloads;

5.      Be cautious about emails offering miracle products, or cheap deals on goods. Generally if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is;

6.      Never send your card number, PIN or any other financial information to anyone via email! Your bank would never ask you for your full password or PINs.

7.      Never send a money transfer for online purchases, always use a known payment supplier, or buy direct from official agents. It’s also advisable to use Verified by VISA or Mastercard Secure Code when shopping online; 

8.      Don’t get Roasted this Christmas by a fake caller! Your bank will never ask you for your full Pin or any online banking passwords. If in doubt, check it out. Call your bank directly.

9.      Only purchase tickets from reputable websites that are secure (showing a padlock) and before buying do an internet search for reviews on the gig/sporting event to see if anyone has fallen victim to a ticketing scam;

10.  Do not post too much personal information on social media accounts which could allow your bank accounts or financial information to be compromised;

11.  Do not save passwords or personal/financial data onto your mobile device unless it is absolutely necessary, and make sure your phone is passcode protected;

12.  Do not leave your Bluetooth open on your mobile, as cyber-criminals can hack into your device unnoticed. Also install anti-virus software and check the security features.

Niamh Davenport, Fraud Awareness & Payments Manager, BPFI added: “The sophistication of scams today can often confuse and distract people, especially at a busy time like Christmas. However, it is often a simple or easy measure that people can take to protect against fraud and it’s important people know these to avoid being vulnerable to fraudsters! We hope that with a few simple Top Festive Tips this Christmas it will focus people’s attention on how they can play their part in avoiding scams- saving themselves any additional expenses this festive season. If anyone thinks that they’ve been impacted by fraudulent activity, they should contact their bank immediately and also report it to the Gardaì.”

To inform yourself on how best you can protect yourself (and your business) against fraud visit www.FraudSMART.ie or follow the campaign on Twitter and Facebook. This campaign is led by the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland and supported by the banking sector.