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Online shopping scams cost shoppers £15.4 million over the Christmas period last year

New data from Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, reveals that 28,049 shoppers were conned out of their money when shopping online over the Christmas period last year - an increase of almost two thirds (61%) when compared to the same period in the previous year.



Ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Action Fraud is warning the public to take extra care when shopping online as reports of online shopping fraud have continued to surge.


Here are some simple tips to help you and your family enjoy a secure online shopping experience this festive season (and let's not forget all those of you who are working from home and tempted by deals...on your lunch break of course!)


Where to shop

Buying from an online store you haven’t used before? Carry out some research first, or ask a friend or family member if they’ve used the site and about their experiences before completing the purchase.


Your information


Only create an account if necessary or to save you effort if you’re going to use that site a lot in the future. Be cautious if the website asks you for details that are not required for your purchase, such as your mother’s maiden name or the name of your primary school.


Payment method


When it's time to pay for your items, check there's a 'closed padlock' icon in the browser's address bar. Use a credit card when shopping online, if you have one. Most major credit card providers protect online purchases.



Phishing


Some of the messages you receive about amazing offers may contain links to fake websites. If you’re unsure about a link, don’t use it - go separately to the website. Report suspicious emails you receive by forwarding them to: report@phishing.gov.uk. Report suspicious text messages by forwarding them to: 7726. It really does work. Latest figures from Action Fraud show that, as of October 31, 2021, reports from members of the public have led to the removal of more than 67,000 scams and 124,000 malicious URLs.


Email accounts

Make sure that your really important accounts (such as your email account or online shopping accounts) are protected by strong passwords that you don't use anywhere else.


Need help changing your email account password? You can use these links to find step by step instructions: Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook, BT, AOL Mail.


If things go wrong


If you've lost money to an online shopping scam, tell your bank and report it as a crime to Action Fraud (for England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or Police Scotland (for Scotland). By doing this, you'll be helping to prevent others becoming victims of cyber crime.


For more of the government’s latest advice on how to stay secure online, visit the Cyber Aware website: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware



 

Reporting

Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).

 

The contents of blog posts on this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of East Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre (EMCRC) is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others. Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. EMCRC provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us by email.

 

EMCRC does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this blog. EMCRC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites that link to this site or which are linked from it.