Beware Yule Tide Scammers!

Last Christmas, at least 15,000 online shoppers lost £11 million to scams, according to data from Action Fraud.

The promise of (cheap) new mobile phones were the most common item scammers used to defraud people, with 74 per cent of those scams relating to Apple iPhones. Other scams reported to UK’s fraud and scam centre included electrical goods, household items, clothing and computers.

Knowing that most people are keen for some extra cash around Christmas, fraudulent surveys are on the rise around Christmas time. If you find a survey which asks for bank and credit details, it’s highly likely it’s fake. It’s also generally very rare to find a legitimate website that legally offers cash rewards for survey completions. Best to close pop-up surveys and don’t fill in anything that requires your personal information.

Some useful tips include:

  • Beware of fake reviews – it’s not unusual for shoppers to be persuaded to write overly generous reviews in exchange for discounts or free products. While on-line recommendations can be useful, personal recommendations are often more reliable.
  • Make sure you have installed the latest anti-virus software and app updates
  • Often a feature on web-based auction sites, never buy anything by bank transfer unless you absolutely trust the person or provider. Better to use a credit card, which will also offer you added protection in cases of fraud.
  • Did you know that the most common password is…password! Ensure you have a strong password and avoid using the same one for everything.
  • NEVER click on a link in an unexpected email or text – for fraudsters, this is a quick and easy route into your personal and banking details. If in doubt, delete.

Finally, if something is too good to be a bargain, it’s probably poor quality, fake or doesn’t even exist!

Wishing all readers a happy, and scam free, Christmas.

Cllr Clarence Barrett


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