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Consumers warned over online fraud risks

19 December 2014 - 14:23 by Simon Crisp

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Shopping online is simple if you stick to one of the major retailers, but there are a huge number of cybercriminal groups attempting to steal your personal information and exploit you financially, if you are not wise to their fraudulent tactics.

In the run up to Christmas, various police forces have published warnings and advice for consumers to help them stay safe when they shop online, with the latest tips coming from Devon and Cornwall Police, according to the North Devon Journal.

In a statement, the force pointed out that criminals are upping their game when it comes to defrauding members of the public. So even if you apparently purchase an item and receive a delivery, certain shady sellers will actually have shipped out an empty or incorrectly allocated box.

For many people, the process of signing for a parcel they receive from a logistics firm is one that they carry out without thinking, which can lead to issues further down the line if the contents of the package are not what you expected.

To carry out safe shopping online, the experts argue that you should only buy from reputable sellers and avoid any that have a lot of negative feedback from past customers.

You are also within your rights to open a package to check its contents before you sign for it, which will let you know whether or not the right thing has arrived and allow you to detect any deliberate duping as soon as possible.

Online shopping opens up a world of choice and value to consumers, but only by keeping abreast of criminal activities and schemes can you avoid disappointment and buy products online without the risk of being hit with a fraudulent set of unwanted actions.