The sales are almost here but be careful when shopping online.

Sourced from Pixabay.

Gardaí are warning consumers to be wary of online scammers coming up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

A new report from FraudSMART shows that nearly €45 million was stolen through scams last year.

Gardaí say fake websites and social media adverts are very common in the run up to Christmas – so be extra careful when buying online!

They recommend only buying from valid online retailers or to shop locally.

Watch out for the below red flags:


  • Promotions sent via email – retailers use subscription mailing lists to promote their offers which gives scammers an opportunity to send you dodgy links. These emails may include online gift cards or vouchers so don’t click that link!


  • Delivery issues – if ‘there is a problem with your delivery’ you could be getting scammed.


  • Facebook and Instagram messages – usually retailers won’t message you directly so be careful and don’t reply to messages because they may be fraudulent.


  • Website replicas – hackers can make almost identical looking websites so before you purchase online, make sure to investigate and ensure you are on a secure site.


If you think you may have been scammed you can get in touch with the Gardaí or find online supports such as