Police are warning that well-known perfume brands are being advertised for sale on professional-looking websites at cheaper prices. In fact, the perfume is not being delivered, or is counterfeit if it is delivered.
Action Fraud has so far received 28 reports about perfume fraud, committed via a number of different websites.
In some cases, the fraudsters escalate the fraud by approaching customers for more money, claiming that the original payment was not successful.
How to buy goods safely online:
Before you buy – Websites
- Only use websites that you can trust. Research the site first before making a purchase, checking through online forums for feedback from other customers.
- Consider using website checking tools promoted by Trading Standards such as ‘Howard the Shopping Assistant’.
Ask yourself, does the company have a real-world presence? Can you see their address and phone number? Is it a valid phone number registered in the UK?
- Be wary that fake websites may in fact be a duplicate of a genuine website. Do not access a site from a link in an unsolicited email. Always access the site by typing the address into your web browser.
Paying for goods online
- Consider purchasing by credit card. If the goods or services cost over £100 and you use a credit card, you may be protected by the Consumer Credit Act.
- Ensure that the web address of the page starts https:// before entering any payment or personal information. In some browsers a small padlock appears in the browser window indicating the site is secure.
- Keep your PC protected with the latest operating system, firewall, browser and up-to-date anti-virus software installed. For further information visit the ‘Be Card Smart website’.
Read more about perfume fraud on the City of London Police’s website.
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.