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Online scams targeting Christmas shoppers

29th November 2010

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:

Electricity scam spreads nationwide

25th November 2010

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.

Online car-buying scam

23rd November 2010

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.

Three in five shoppers at risk of fraud

18th November 2010

Poor personal security habits, such as sharing PINs and card details, are putting 57% of people at risk of fraud according to Visa Europe.

As the Christmas shopping period approaches, Visa Europe is warning people to be vigilant to avoid becoming a victim.

The research found that the top five most common practice that put people at risk of fraud when shopping online and on the high street include:

Buy tickets safely

17th November 2010

A website is aiming to help people avoid ticket scams and ticket touts by listing information about companies and websites selling tickets.  

TicketSafe has a ‘Red List’ of websites they suggest you think twice about before buying tickets, and a ‘Green List’ of websites they can recommend. Users are also able to enter in the url of the website they’re think of buying tickets from to see if it’s legitimate or not. Finally, users can add their feedback and experiences of companies they have used to buy tickets from.

Fakes Fund Crime

16th November 2010

The charity Crimestoppers is reminding everyone that buying fake products helps fund serious organised crime and puts people at risk of identity theft.

Many people do not realise that by buying fakes, consumers are helping to fund criminals who are sometimes involved in other crimes including drugs, people trafficking, prostitution, guns and money laundering.

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