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Whilst this website focuses on home and personal security we thought it might be useful to include some limited information on avoiding fraud whilst shopping online as we receive numerous emails about this problem throughout the year. We highly recommend you visit www.getsafeonline.org if you want to know a great deal more.
Most of us buy things online these days and you won’t be surprised to learn that a significant number of us have been duped by online fraudsters. The following checklist provides some basic guidance to help you avoid the fraudulent sites.
- Do not reply to unsolicited emails from sellers you don’t recognise
- Payment by credit card offers greater protection against fraud than other payment methods
- Before entering your card details on a website, ensure the link is secure: Check the following:
- There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window frame, which appears when you attempt to log in or register. If the padlock is on the website’s page this will probably indicate a fraudulent site
- The web address should begin with https://. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’
- Use the most up to date web browser for your operating system, use whatbrowser.org to make sure you're up to date.
- Ensure any third-party payment services (such as WorldPay) are secure before you make your payment
- Keep safe and remember the password you have chosen for the extra verification services used on some websites, such as ‘Verified by Visa’.
- Should you choose to buy stuff from an individual (for example on eBay), never transfer the money directly into their bank account but use a secure payment site such as PayPal, where money is transferred between two electronic accounts
- Check the seller’s ‘privacy’ and ‘returns’ policies
- Always log out of sites when you have finished with the purchase. Closing your browser is not always enough to ensure privacy
- Keep receipts
- Check your credit card and bank statements carefully to ensure that the correct amount has been debited, and also that no fraud has taken place as a result of the transaction
- Ensure you have effective and updated internet security software and firewall running before you go online
- If you think you have been a victim of fraud you should report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk
- For further advice on how to stay safe online go to www.GetSafeOnline.org
Updated July 2015