Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has warned people to be extra vigilant as Black Friday approaches, to be careful when shopping online and to never share their financial details unless they’re 100% sure who they’re dealing with.

Teachta Crowe said:

“Black Friday is becoming an increasingly busy time for online shopping in Ireland, but this popularity is providing opportunities to fraudsters and scam artists to take advantage of as well.

“Some sites will use very attractive deals to gain your information and use that for identity theft or account takeovers to drain bank accounts. It’s always important to know who you are dealing with online. Sometimes a deal really is too good to be true.

“Other risks include stores pretending to be Irish when they’re based overseas or dropshippers who may be providing fraudulent or substandard items or even the wrong items altogether as I have heard from some people locally. When these sites are based outside of Ireland or even the EU, it can be very difficult to get any sort of compensation.

“It was discussed at a meeting of the local JPC meeting with the gardaí last week that these types of fraud are still an ever-present problem with more and more sophisticated ways to parting people from their money every year.

“Always bear in mind the ways you can protect yourself such as buying and selling locally, meeting the buyer or seller in person where it is practical to do so, never sharing your bank details, and always being careful who you share contact information with.”