PCC urges online shoppers to be extra vigilant as festive shopping season starts

This weekend, beginning with ‘Black Friday’ on 27 November, is one of the busiest Christmas online shopping periods and it is the most common time of the year for online fraudsters to target victims.
Figures released from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and The City of London Police state that £16,426,989 (Nov 2014-Feb 2015) was reported lost to businesses and individuals last Christmas through online shopping and auction fraud. This represents a 42% increase compared with £9,522,491 lost by victims over the 2013 Christmas period.
168 incidents of online shopping and auction fraud were reported to Suffolk Police last Christmas, with losses totalling £111,776, whilst 197 incidents were reported to Norfolk Police with losses totalling £146,086.
The most common items being bought online by people targeted by offenders are mobile phones. Often victims are tempted by what seems to be a good deal on popular models of smart phones, which is then paid for but never arrives, leaving them without presents to give on Christmas day. Others reported being defrauded whilst trying to buy footwear, clothing, watches, gaming consoles, computers, furniture and home electricals.
On Monday 23 November the City of London Police, Action Fraud and Get Safe Online launched a national fraud prevention campaign which will be supported by police forces across the country. The campaign will provide practical fraud and cybercrime protection tips which aim to prevent people from getting conned out of the Christmas that they deserve.
“Beware of fake sites and scam emails” that’s the advice of Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, prior the busiest weekend for intranet shopping this weekend.
Tim Passmore said, “It’s a shocking statistic, but, according to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, more than half of Britons have been victims of an online crime.
“Each year more and more of us do our Christmas shopping on-line and every year the number of us becoming victims of fraud increases. Last year victims lost 42% more money than the year before, that’s a mind-blowing figure.”
“Before you head to your computer with your credit card in your hand I would urge everyone to take a look at the Action Fraud website www.actionfraud.police.uk, and keep yourself safe.”
Detective Chief Inspector Tonya Antonis from the Cyber & Serious Crime Department commented,
“Working with Action Fraud and the City of London Police, we are hoping this campaign will highlight the possible dangers of online shopping and give people the information to carry out transactions safely. It is always worth double checking to see if the website and product are legitimate before making a payment, and also looking for any customer reviews which can act as a good touch point for safe online shopping. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is, so do think twice before clicking to buy.
By working together we can help prevent online crime increasing this Christmas ” To report a fraud or any online crime, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use the online fraud reporting tool at www.actionfraud.police.uk
For a range of tips on how to stay safe online visit:
Action Fraud
City of London Police
Get Safe Online