Garda urges caution when buying online

Following several recent cases, Athlone Garda Sgt Andrew Haran has urged people to beware of scammers when buying second-hand goods like concert tickets and phones online.

People buying goods on sites like Adverts.ie and DoneDeal.ie should never transfer money before receiving goods. Buyers doing this have no protection, and leave themselves open to scams.

“It happened here recently twice, where people bought phones but there were never phones in existence,” Sgt Haran told the Athlone Advertiser. “It’s just a complete and simple scam.”

Gardaí are following a line of inquiry in these two recent cases, but that may not help the unfortunate buyers get their money back.

“People shopping online - for Christmas gifts for example - should buy through reputable outlets, or use a money exchange service like PayPal.” said Haran. “People should ensure they have the goods first, or verify the seller before handing over any money.”

For personal safety and peace of mind, and exchange of goods too should also take place in a well-lit public space. And always remember, if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.

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