Would you know how to spot a bogus online shop?
Today, officers from the force’s Economic Crime Unit are sharing their tips to help prevent you falling for fraudsters claiming to sell cut-price electrical goods and domestic appliances online.
Detective Sergeant Mike Wood said: “Action Fraud has received reports from across the UK about fake websites being set up by offenders advertising electrical goods for sale.
“However, when customers go to pay by card, it claims the option is not available and the payment must be made via bank transfer.
“The offenders also fraudulently use the Trusted Shop Trademark and have posted thousands of bogus reviews, in an effort to further con customers.
“However, these websites have not been certified by Trusted Shops, meaning the customer is not covered by the scheme’s money back guarantee and the item they believe they have bought does not exist.”
There are steps you can take to protect yourself. These include:
- Log on to the Who Is website to find out when the website was created. Be wary of newly formed domains.
- Do some online research about the website, company name and the business address to see if it has been flagged as a bogus firm.
- Check the Trusted Shops Facebook page – warnings about sites fraudulently using their Trustmark are often published here.
- If you are in doubt about the legitimacy of a Trustmark, call 0203 364 5906 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They will confirm if they have certified the site,
- Payments made by bank transfer are not protected if you don’t receive the item. Always use Paypal or a credit card where possible.
- If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If you, or anyone you know, has been affected report it to Action Fraud or call 0300 123 2040.