Online shoppers warned as purchase scams jump over 30%

Online Shoppers Warned As Purchase Scams Jump Over 30%
In the last year, there has been a 32 per cent increase in purchase scams reported to Bank of Ireland.
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Kenneth Fox

Bank of Ireland is warning consumers about a new wave of purchase scams that are luring consumers to make payments for goods and services through an advertisement online, which then transpires to be fake.

In the last year, there has been a 32 per cent increase in purchase scams reported to Bank of Ireland.


The bank said consumers are often lured by the false promise of reduced price, and asked to pay directly, sending money from their bank account to another via bank transfer, which provides little protection.

Once the payment is transferred, the seller usually cuts all contact, and the product or service never arrives.

Nicola Sadlier, head of fraud at Bank of Ireland, said: "Fraudulent advertisements online and on social media have been the subject of regular warnings for some time.

"This alarming trend is not going away, even with increased awareness among the general public, and repeated calls for websites and search engines to remove the adverts.  These fake ads should be caught before they are published online, but many are not.


"It’s unacceptable to see fraudsters operating so openly through online advertisements. No company should be generating advertising revenue from criminals – search engines, websites and social media platforms really need to step up and crack down.

"Our advice to consumers is don’t click on these adverts, ignore them completely, and if something sounds too good to be true, it’s probably fraud."

Online shoppers are being advised to read reviews to check that the site and the seller is genuine, paying particular attention to poor grammar and spelling, or vague product descriptions.

Consumers should also go directly to the online shopping site by typing the web address into a web browser, as links in unsolicited emails or on social media may not be safe and should be avoided.

When purchasing, secure payment methods should be used, such as debit or credit cards, or the secure payment method recommended by reputable online retailers and auction sites, as this could give you more protection.

If someone suspects they have been a victim of fraud, they should contact their bank immediately so action can be taken to stop the fraud in progress and try to recover funds.

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