CHRISTMAS SHOPPING

Whilst the internet is the first port of call for Christmas Gift bargains for many in terms of speed, convenience and savings, it also provides a great opportunity for Fraudsters to profit at your expense. Even when you have been wary throughout the year with your online shopping, it can be so easy to be caught out in the heat of the moment in the rush up to Christmas when our minds are elsewhere, or just too busy to carry out a check to see if that “bargain” really is a bargain.

Therefore, once again, please make family members aware, particularly those in the vulnerable age groups. Especially be mindful when shopping on Social Media platforms, as this is by far the most likely medium for shopping and auction frauds to take place.



So online shoppers are urged to protect their accounts. Do use secure payment methods to stay ahead of the threat from fraudsters who are particularly active with the build-up in Christmas shopping online.

• Protect your accounts: set up 2-step verification and use 3 Random Word passwords to prevent Cyber criminals gaining access to any of your accounts      (see Three random words – NCSC.GOV.UK)
• Be wary about where you shop online – check out Online Retailers, especially ones you have not used before and make sure they are legitimate
• Don’t pay for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud.
• Pay Securely: use a Credit Card when shopping online as most major Credit Card companies protect online purchases. Also using a Credit Card rather than a Debit Card means your main bank account will not be affected if your details are stolen.
• Whenever you pay always look for the “Closed Padlock“ symbol in the web address bar showing your connection is secure
• Do not let Christmas come early for criminals and fraudsters


Please feel free to share these messages with any vulnerable friends, relatives or neighbours

                                   Take Five To Stop Fraud

STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? It’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
PROTECT: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud

• Avoid disclosing security details
• Emails, Phone Calls and Texts may not be authentic
• Always make direct contact with any organisation by using a genuine phone number
• Stop and Challenge any unexpected requests
• Protect others by reporting Fraud and Scams
If you’ve fallen for a scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk.

Scam Text messages can be forwarded to 7726 to help phone providers take early action and block numbers that generate spam on their networks.

Forward Fake Emails received to report@phishing.gov.uk.

If you think your bank account or personal banking details have been used fraudulently, then use the short code number – 159 – to contact the Fraud Prevention Department of most major UK banks