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Shop safely during the danger time for internet fraud

Thursday, 27th November 2014.

Norfolk and Suffolk Police are urging the public to stay safe when buying online in the run up to Christmas.

The warning comes on ‘Black Friday’ which marks the start of the busiest four days of internet shopping of the year which ends on ‘Cyber Monday’ (December 1).

Between December 1 last year and February 28 this year there were 199 cases of online shopping and auction fraud in Norfolk with £163,860 being lost, while in Suffolk there were 159 cases amounting to £169,691 being lost.

Det Supt Steve Mattin said: "Shoppers can find great bargains online ahead of Christmas and this time of year provides a welcome boost to retailers but shoppers should remember if something looks too good to be true it probably is.

"I would urge people to stay vigilant to ensure they don’t lose their hard-earned money on fakes and frauds. Following straightforward steps while shopping online will help the public to avoid cyber fraudsters.”

From Monday, Norfolk and Suffolk Police will also be counting down to the festive season with The 12 Online Frauds Of Christmas to highlight different types of online fraud and how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.

Every day Norfolk and Suffolk police will focus on various festive online frauds, including advice on auction fraud, e-cards, social media scams and loan fraud.

To follow The 12 Online Frauds Of Christmas go to www.norfolk.police.uk or www.suffolk.police.uk or follow Norfolk or Suffolk Police on Facebook and Twitter.

To keep fraudsters off of your Christmas list, you can take the following steps:
· Trust your instincts – if an offer looks too good to be true it probably is;
· Check the URL in the web browser – watch out for spoof websites where the address is slightly changed;
· Make sure the website address begins ‘https’ at the payment stage which indicates a secure payment;
· Don’t access links in unsolicited emails – always type in the web address or use a search engine to find a site;
· Only deal with reputable sellers – use sites that you know or ones that have been recommended to you from a trustworthy source;
· Avoid paying by money transfers direct to people you don’t know – use an online payment option such as PayPal which helps protect you;
· Watch out for pop-ups appearing asking you to confirm your card details before you are on the payment stage and never enter your PIN number online;
· If your bid for an online auction item is unsuccessful, don’t be tempted to trade off-site if another seller approaches you with a similar item as it is likely to be a scam and you won’t be protected;
· Keep security software and firewalls up-to-date;
· Keep receipts and check them against your statement – If you spot a transaction you did not authorise, contact your card company immediately.

To report fraud or internet crime got to the Action Fraud website www.actionfraud.police.uk or call them on 0300 123 2040

Haverhill Online News

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