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Online Shopping

Alert message sent 12/12/2019 10:00:00

Information sent on behalf of Leicestershire Police

Shopping online can save time and effort and gives you a wide choice of goods from around the world. Unfortunately, while most buyers and sellers are genuine, fraudsters use online shopping scams because they can hide their identity and target many victims at the same time.

What you can do to protect yourself

Buying online

Do some research to find out what a fair or competitive price is for similar goods in the same condition; if the offer sounds too good to miss out on, it might not really exist, be fake or of inferior quality.

Fraudsters often use stock images or other people’s images, or use the same image on multiple websites/adverts. You can check if images appear elsewhere on the internet through websites like TinEye.com or search reverse image on google.

Check the seller or buyer’s review history and feedback from other reviewers. Beware of accounts that may have been set up very recently with lots of favourable feedback that sounds similar, this could be an indication of fake reviews.

Always use the site’s recommended payment site, if they have one, and read the terms and conditions to understand what you are protected for. If you pay any other way than via a recommended payment site, you may not be able to recover your money.

Where there’s no recommended payment site, paying via credit card or known third party payment providers is preferable to direct bank transfers. Check your bank statements or online account regularly.

Make sure that the website you’re buying from is genuine – and not a fake or copycat site – by typing in the address yourself and checking the spelling. Fake addresses usually vary from authentic ones with just one or two incorrect letters.

Research sellers’ and other bidders’ selling history. And bear in mind that a website ending ‘.co.uk’ doesn’t necessarily mean it’s based in the UK. Check the address of the company and the phone number.

Don’t make payment over insecure WiFi (a public WiFi or one with no password to access).

Make sure you’re making payments on a secure site. You can check the link is secure in two ways:

1. There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window where you can see the site address / URL when you log in or register (beware on unfamiliar sites as this can be faked); if you’re not sure the webpage is genuine, don't use it.; be sure that the padlock is within the address bar at the top of the screen, not on the page itself
2. The web address should begin with ‘https://’; the ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’

Always remember, if anything sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Thank you for reading

PCSO 6552 Mo Musa
Message sent by
Mohamed Musa (Police, PCSO, Loughborough LPU)

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