Consumers are being warned that scam websites selling counterfeit or non-existent Christmas gifts are already emerging prior to the festive season.
Trading Standards is warning that Christmas shoppers who are looking for bargains are easy targets for fraudsters. Many scam websites look almost identical to legitimate websites. While scam sites are closed down, it is harder for the authorities to close down sites based abroad, and similar scam websites tend to appear quickly anyway.
Watch out for scam websites
Tiffany & Co., Ugg and GHD are some of the most commonly copied websites. Bogus sites often appear at the top of Google listings in the sponsored links.
Many fake websites either don’t deliver goods at all, or deliver poor quality counterfeit goods.
Trading Standards is highlighting some tell-tale signs to consumers to watch out for:
- scam websites often don’t have a phone number or postal address on their site
- just because a site’s url ends in .co.uk doesn’t mean that it’s based in the UK
- sites that ask for payment by bank transfer should make you wary – there is no protection on your money if you pay this way
- many legitimate websites such as www.ghdhair.com and www.uggaustralia.com offer a facility to check if a site is a genuine retailer.
Read more about counterfeit websites.
Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.
To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.