How to Stay Vigilant against Fraud this Black Friday

shopping bags on black friday

Planning on hitting the shops this Black Friday in the hope of securing some fantastic bargains? Or perhaps you’re going to wait until Cyber Monday and shop from the comfort of your own home? Black Friday, which falls on November 25th this year, is the day when retailers traditionally sell off stock at bargain prices. It’s followed three days later by Cyber Monday - a day when the web is flooded with online bargains.

In both instances, what began as an American tradition has, in recent years, taken off here and sales continue to grow. However, fraud is also on the rise and those shopping online need to be particularly vigilant. Our advice? Follow the precautions below to stay safe.

Be vigilant at ATM’s & Point of Sale terminals

Always cover your PIN and be observant when using an ATM or a Point of Sale.


Beware of Fake Websites

Fraudsters can easilycreate websites that look just like official retailers. But beware! Once apayment has been made, shoppers receive inferior products - if they arrive at all. Check the URL of the website for authentication. It may look like a close copy of a genuine retailer. A secure website for sensitive transactions such as banking should begin with "https://" as this adds an extra layer of security. There should also be a padlock or unbroken symbol at the bottom of the window browser which indicates that the page is secure.

Beware of Phishing Emails

Phishing messages are extremely common. Designed to appear to come from a trusted organisation such as your bank or a familiar retailer, their aim is to dupe consumers into revealing personal details. Remember, AIB never asks customers to provide their AIB Internet, Mobile or Phone Banking Personal Access Code (PAC) and will never request codes from your AIB Card Reader by email, text or phone.

Stay up to Date

Make sure to keep your anti-virus software up to date as well as your browser, operating system. This will ensure you have the latest protection available. Change your passwords regularly, keep them secure and do not share these passwords or write them down.


Watch out for Fraudulent WhatsApp Messages

Don't trust WhatsApp messages offering cash. By clicking on the link, you allow those trying to defraud you to collect personal information from your device that could track you.

Beware of False Freebies on Facebook

Similarly, beware of Facebook offers that are quite simply too good to be true.
Be careful about what you “like” and “share”. By doing this, you help to target a wider audience. You can also be asked for personal details by clicking, which can be used for fraudulent purposes. Check if the Facebook account is verified with a blue tick. Another good indication of whether a social media account is genuine is to check how many fans/followers the account has. If it’s a low number, this is likely a fake account.

Keep an Eye on Bank Statements

Keep a record of all your online purchases and in the weeks following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, check your bank statements carefully for any usual activities.


Act Fast if you’ve been a Victim of a Scam

If you fear you’ve been the victim of a scam, contact us immediately and report the issue. You can also keep up to date on current security alerts in our security centre.

How does AIB protect customers?

Our Internet, Mobile and Tablet Banking services employ a secure login process. Remember, it is important that you never disclose your personal login information to a third party or to write down your login information. To ensure you can access your accounts over the Internet with the utmost confidence, we use the highest levels of industry standard security on our encrypted website. The AIB Internet Banking and our AIB Mobile Banking App also have an Auto Time-Out feature which logs you out after a period of inactivity, and a time and date stamp which displays the details of your last login as an added security measure. This allows you to see if someone has fraudulently accessed your accounts.

Text alerts will mean that we will be able to immediately contact you 24 hours a day in the event of suspected fraud on your credit or debit card. We will send you a real-time alert to your mobile phone asking you to text back a Y or N to confirm your use of the card. The text will come from +353873700700. This is a number for texting only, so if you call this number it won’t be answered. We will never ask you to send your personal information by text.

Verified by Visa and Mastercard SecureCode offer extra security for AIB Credit and Debit Cards when shopping online at participating retailers.

If you have any additional questions on Common Frauds and Threats, connect with us on Facebook, or tweet us @AskAIB

Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Copyright Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. 1995.