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People are being warned to be on the look-out for scams designed to trick them into divulging their personal details, following an increase in the number of complaints to Consumer Direct and Trading Standards.
In one scam, the fraudster poses as a representative of the caller’s local council. The caller asks the victims personal questions such as who their power provider is and what benefits they receive, before going on to ask for their bank account information. They can go on to use this personal information to commit fraud.
Ahead of the UK's busiest online shopping day, Action Fraud is reminding you how to shop safely online
According to figures compiled by Action Fraud and the City of London Police's National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB), there has been a 15% increase in reports of online shopping and auction fraud since July.
Top five products likely to feature in online shopping and auction fraud:
People are being warned to avoid a scam in which criminals offer cut-price energy to those with pre-payment meters.
A report by Energy UK shows the number of customers affected has reached 114,000, and reveals the top 20 hotspots for prepayment meter fraud.
Car-checking company HPI is warning those thinking of buying a used car to look out for a scam.
This particular scam begins with an advert on a website or motor magazine, where an English seller is trying to sell a top-of-the-range car at a knock-down price. The seller usually says he is abroad in a country like Spain or Portugal, and needs to sell the car quickly. They tell victims they are unable to see the car as it’s already with a shipping company.