A Garda Síochána (Garda), translated as "Guardians of the Peace of Ireland,” is the national police force providing all state security, policing and immigration enforcement duties countrywide. Ireland has a relatively low rate of violent crime. Petty crime and residential crime is much more common, especially in urban and tourist areas. Rates for residential break-ins, theft, burglary, and purse-snatching have all risen in recent years, and thieves often target rental cars and tourists, particularly in the vicinity of tourist attractions. In rare cases, these crimes have involved physical assault or violence, more commonly in Dublin. Avoid parks after dark and avoid showing signs of affluence in addition to guarding your valuables, passport and wallet. We recommend you leave your passport in a secure location separate from your purse or luggage. Do not leave your drinks unattended at bars or restaurants, as there have been reported incidents of drinks being spiked with illegal substances, leading to robbery and sexual assaults. Please practice sound personal security practices and maintain an awareness of your surroundings during your stay in Ireland.
ATM Fraud: Crimes involving ATMs are a concern. Protect your PIN at all times and look closely at ATMs for evidence of tampering before use. Criminals have used “skimmers” on ATMs, especially in tourist areas. Skimmers are usually small electronic devices attached to the outside of an ATM to steal the ATM or credit card data. Most ATMs in Ireland now have signs or electronic warnings that advise customers to look closely at the ATM for evidence of tampering before using. Be aware that in busy areas, thieves use distraction techniques such as waiting until the PIN has been entered and then pointing to money on the ground or asking for loose change. While the ATM user is distracted, another person will quickly withdraw the cash and leave. If you are distracted in any way, cancel the transaction immediately. If the machine does not return your card, report the incident to the issuing bank right away.
Internet scams: Online fraud scams have been reported in recent years, and travelers should verify through local authorities, family, or friends, the authenticity of any solicited or unsolicited requests for assistance. If you receive an email from family or friends requesting assistance, we advise you to try first to contact the loved one at the last known phone number and/or to verify the story/circumstances with a neutral third party you know and trust before sending any funds.You should view with skepticism any unsolicited invitations to travel to Ireland to collect winnings or an inheritance. There are no licenses or fees required when transiting Irish airports, emergency medical treatment is never withheld pending payment of fees, and hotels in Ireland will not detain guests for lack of funds without involving the police. A claim that a hospital or hotel will not let someone depart until the bill is settled is usually a sign of a scam. Visit the U.S. Department of State's website for more information on International Internet Financial Scams and how to protect yourself.
Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal to bring back into the United States, you may be breaking local law, too.
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