TIM DREW: Fraudsters targeting social media shoppers

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

New data from our partner Action Fraud shows a sharp rise in people being defrauded via adverts on social media while shopping for Christmas as fraudsters see the festive season as a prime opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting buyers.

Last year 2,142 people said that they had been victims of online shopping fraud during the Christmas period, losing over £10million, with the single largest loss suffered being £86,000.

Mobile phones, footwear, home electricals and jewellery were the most common items over which victims were defrauded, and people are increasingly being approached by fraudsters on social media channels.

Action Fraud has provided the following tips to help you avoid falling victim to fraud:

• 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

• When making a transaction, always look out for a padlock in the web tool bar; this indicates that the site is secure, as does the presence of an ’s’ on the end of ‘http’ which is another essential indicator that a site is secure.

• When buying tickets, always buy from official sources and never pay by direct transfer.

• When buying a holiday online, research it thoroughly to ensure that is a genuine offer and check to make sure that the vendor is registered with ABTA and ATOL.

• Secure wi-fi is vital. Check that the network you’re using is secure before you make any financial transactions.

• Always ensure that your keep your anti-virus software, operating systems and other security measures up-to-date on your electronic devices.

This year’s Don’t Drink and Drive campaign takes place in the town centre this evening between 5pm and 10pm.

The Tarring Community Forum will meet on Tuesday (December 12) at West Worthing Baptist Church Centre, in South Street, Tarring, at 7pm.

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