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Action Fraud alerts shoppers about COVID-19 scams

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Retail stores and other non-essential shops are recommencing across the United Kingdom, but many people continue to shop online.

 

Cybercrime experts are warning the public about remaining vigilant and being extra careful. As per Action Fraud figures, online buyers incurred losses of over £16 million to scammers during the COVID-19 lockdown. Approximately 16,352 people have fallen victim to online shopping and auction fraud since March. To prevent themselves from online fraud, shoppers are urged to do the following:

Where to shop

  • Conduct proper research if you are planning on making a purchase from an online seller you don’t know and trust, and ask someone for advice before completing the purchase.

Email accounts

  • Use a strong password for your email account which is separate as well. Cybercriminals can hack into your email to access other online accounts, such as those you use for online shopping.

Phishing

  • Some of the emails or text messages you receive from the unknown sources may contain links to fraudulent websites. Not all links are bad, but, if you’re not completely sure, avoid clicking the link and open the website directly through your browser instead.

Anyone who has been a fraud victim fraud is encouraged to call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.