50,000 websites found to be selling counterfeit goods, Action Fraud reveals
SEE ALSO :Police impound polythene bagsAction Fraud has identified a number of preventative steps to help protect customers from online shopping fraud. Detective inspector Chris Felton told Mirror Money: "As with any online shopping, we would urge people to research a seller before paying any money. Search for reviews from people who have previously purchased from the seller and check the item description carefully. If you are unsure, ask the seller questions. "To protect your money until you've resolved any problems with the seller, always pay suing a recognised service; never pay by money transfers." Here are the signs to watch for: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re getting a great deal. Get the trader to tell you if they provide an after-sales service, warranty or guarantee. Most rogue traders don’t. Make sure you understand how the website’s feedback function works. Feedback will give you useful information about recent transactions other buyers have made. Check the item's description carefully – ask the seller questions if you’re not sure of something. Be aware of phishing emails that look like they come from the online auction or payment site you’re registered with, asking you to update your account details or re-enter them because your account has been suspended. Check the URL in the web browser. A tactic often used by fraudsters is to change the address very slightly (if they’re spoofing an eBay site, for instance, they may have an address such as ‘. . . @ebayz.com’ whereas the real site is ‘. . . @ebay.com’) Read the terms and conditions carefully, including those relating to any dispute resolution procedures the site offers. Run the site through a search engine - often if a site is suspicious, there'll be people talking about it online. As record numbers of gift buyers get set to purchase online, BarclaysDigiSafe has shared the following tips to avoid being fleeced by festive fraudsters: Look out for the padlock symbol and ‘https’ in the address bar on retailers’ websites Watch out for deals that look too good to be true Never use public Wi-Fi to purchase shopping online Never give out your PIN or online banking password – legitimate websites won’t ask for it. Keep an eye on your bank balance so that you can spot and report fraudulent transactions quickly
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