After 15,423 people reported being victims of Christmas Shopping Fraud in 2016, the City of London Police (who run Action Fraud) are launching a Christmas Campaign, with the aim to decrease the number of victims of shopping and auction fraud. The campaign is supported by police forces all over England.
‘It’s The Thought That Counts’
The City of London Police are reminding Christmas shoppers that ‘It’s The Thought That Counts’ throughout the Christmas season, with the message being – it’s important to think about potential fraudsters and how to avoid becoming a fraud victim.
Research from ‘actionfraud.co.uk’ shows that in 2015 a total loss of £10 million was reported by victims of Christmas shopping fraud, this then increased to £16 million in 2016. This is a dramatic increase, the risk of falling victim to such fraud is higher than ever!
Actionfraud.co.uk also calculated that “65% of crimes at Christmas were linked to online auction sites, with the average loss for these reports coming in at £727”.
Items such as; Mobile Phones, Yeezy Trainers, Kylie Jenner Make-Up, Hair Dryers, Drones and Fitbit Watches were reported to be the top items that people have been scammed on when purchased online.
Anybody can become a victim – even you! However, according to Action Fraud in 2016 over 13% of reports were made by men aged 20-29 years.
So how do I prevent myself from falling victim?
The ‘It’s The Thought That Counts’ campaign aims to get people thinking about two things in particular when shopping:
- What gift you are purchasing.
- Who you are purchasing this gift from.
A quick and rushed purchase could result in you handing your money over to a fraudster.
Over the Christmas period ‘Action Fraud’ will be releasing a series of videos, which will show how becoming a fraud victim can result in a Christmas with no presents.
Don’t panic! It’s not all down to you to watch out for fraud.
Every Individual Action Fraud report is analysed by the City of London Police, to which they request the suspension of fake websites, the fraudster’s bank account and their phone line. The City of London Police disrupted 658 websites, emails and telephone numbers in the Christmas period of 2016.
Remember: Think before you buy, think when you buy and keep purchases secure!
- If an item seems too cheap, it probably is too good to be true!
- Don’t click on unwanted emails – see our Cyber Security: Types of Phishing video for more information on what to look out for in emails.
- Use secure methods of paying such as PayPal.
- Don’t use public WiFi when making transaction, only use safe and reliable WiFi.
- Make sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date.
- Create strong passwords for any accounts you have. See our Secure Passwords: 10 Tips video for more information on how to create strong passwords.
Sourced from https://actionfraud.police.uk/christmas