Consumer agency warning after Irish man loses €9,000

The ECC has issued advice to people travelling

Consumer agency warning after Irish man loses €9,000

File photo of Visa cards | Image: Martin Keene PA Wire/PA Images

The European Consumer Centre (ECC) is advising people travelling to Eastern Europe to spend cash, instead of using debit cards.

It says it has received numerous complaints from Irish consumers who have had their cards skimmed when buying items in restaurants and nightclubs.

One Irish man had €9,000 unknowingly deducted from his account.

“This particular case is quite a lot (of money)”, Martina Nee of the European Consumer Centre in Dublin told Newstalk.com.

The man’s card was subjected to a card skimming scheme in a nightclub.

He could account for three charges, which he had receipts for.

But he received 13 additional charges on his card while he was still in the country and another 14 when he came back to Dublin.

“It’s a criminal matter – we would suggest to people to be careful with their money”, Ms Nee said.

She also has advice for people using cards: “Keep it in sight – check the amount on the screen, especially if it’s in another currency”.

She says while putting purchases on a card is good, in that you can contact your bank and request receipts, you should have a back-up plan.

“We’d normally give priority to credit cards and its more secure - but consider bringing enough cash for the night”.

The ECC say this is general advice based on the back of the above example, and it has not seen a spike in cases.

“There are always problems with scams and fraudulent transactions...It's going on for a long time, but the techniques are getting more advanced”.