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Advice to stop shoppers being scammed this Christmas

Posted on 23rd November 2017

Shoppers buying mobile phones, clothing and footwear are most at risk of being scammed this Christmas.

Officers are warning the public to make sure they think about who they’re buying their presents from in the run up to Christmas.

New figures released today show that Yeezy trainers, drones and FitBit watches were among the items that netted fraudsters nearly £16 million across the festive period last year – up from £10 million the previous year.

Analysis of last year’s crimes also shows that 65 per cent of crimes at Christmas were linked to online auctions sites, such as Ebay, with the average loss amounting to £727 per person.

Derbyshire Constabulary is backing the national #ThoughtThatCounts campaign - asking people to stop and think about exactly who they are making the purchases from online this year.

Cyber Protect Officer Natasha Sagar said: “We all know how stressful Christmas shopping can be and the desire to get things done cheaply and quickly can be strong.

“However, this is exactly the behaviour that criminals prey upon – particularly online.

“Happily it is possible, by following a few simple tips, to make sure your Christmas isn’t ruined by online con-artists.

“Before making any decisions to buy a gift, make sure you stop and think about exactly where, and with whom, you are spending your cash.”Keyboard typing

Anyone who is concerned they have become a victim should call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report it online by going to

Our top tips when buying gifts online:

  • If something seems too much of a bargain, it’s probably poor quality, fake or doesn’t exist.
  • Use methods like PayPal when buying on auction sites; never transfer money to someone you don’t know.
  • If you’re buying tickets, always buy from official sources and never pay by direct transfer
  • If you’re buying a holiday online, research it thoroughly to ensure that is a genuine offer and check to make sure it is registered with ABTA and ATOL.
  • Secure Wi-Fi is vital for your privacy. Check that the network you’re using is secure before you make any financial transactions.
  • The ’s’ on the end of 'http' is another essential indicator that a site is secure for making transactions.
  • Always ensure that you keep your anti-virus software, operating systems and other security measures are up-to-date on your electronic devices.
  • Never click on unsolicited emails or text messages. Criminals can use the technology to make emails or texts look like they come from a legitimate business or organisation.
  • Create strong passwords that are unique for each account you have. A good way to create a strong and memorable password is to use three random words.

Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.