Neighbourhood Watch campaign urges people to be careful when buying goods or services online

This month’s Neighbourhood Watch campaign, Get Safe Online, is aimed at raising awareness of the pitfalls that may lie in wait when you pay for goods or services online, with cyber criminals doing all they can to divert your money into their pockets.

Remember fraudsters commonly advertise nonexistent products, services, event tickets, travel, holidays, accommodation, gambling, gaming, used vehicles and much more.

Stay safe when buying goods online

Stay safe when buying goods online

They use auction sites, social media, fake or copycat websites and even legitimate accommodation platforms, so do not pay any money – even a deposit – unless you have thoroughly researched the source and product or service concerned and found it to be authentic.

Make sure shopping websites are authentic by carefully checking the address is spelled correctly.

Fraudsters can set up convincing websites with addresses spelled similarly to real ones.

Ensure payment pages are secure by checking addresses begin with ‘https’ (‘s’ is for secure) and there is a closed padlock in the address bar.

|Also in the news - a Worthing man has said he has been left ‘devastated’ and ‘dumbfounded’ after the body of his cat was handed in by a mysterious stranger; a Worthing man who said he has been barred from The Three Fishes pub wants to know why he is banned from his favourite watering hole; and staff and pupils at a Worthing school are celebrating the result of a successful Ofsted inspection|

If you receive an email, letter or phone call asking you to change payment details for a service, product or subscription, always call the company on the number you know to be correct, in case someone else is attempting to defraud you.

Never click on attachments in unexpected emails or links in random emails, posts or texts as this could result in your online payments being intercepted.

Do not pay for anything by transferring money directly to people or companies you do not know, however eager you are to buy. If it is a fraud, your bank will probably be unable to recover or refund your money.

The safest way to pay for anything is by credit card but accept any additional security measures offered by your bank, as they will help to keep transactions safe.

Finally, remember also to log out of your account after making an online payment, closing the page may not do this automatically.

• For more information about the Worthing & Adur Neighbourhood Watch Associations click here.

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