Internet fraud

Stay Safe When Buying Online

Online Fraud

Protect Yourself

  • Make sure you have adequate protection on your computer including a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software.
  • Ensure you update your anti-virus at least weekly. For internet security advice contact your local computer shop.

For more information and advice on shopping online safely, see the Get Safe Online website. 

Check the Business

Don't judge a business by its website alone, check other sources of information too. Look for a physical address and telephone number, and check their privacy and returns policies. Try searching the internet for the name of the business followed by the word "review", like this: [companyname review] - to find experiences of previous customers. Advice on consumer issues can be found on the Consumer Direct website.

Use a Secure Site

Your web browser can tell you whether a site is secure before you type in your credit card information.

Look for an address beginning with "https://", a padlock symbol at the bottom right of your browser, and click on the padlock to see the security certificate. For more information consult the Help menu of your browser. Remember, even if the site is secure it says nothing about how the business is run.

Pay Safely

Be careful of using Western Union Moneygram when the recipient is not personally known to you.

The address that funds are sent to may not be a legitimate address.
Funds can be collected anywhere in that country and the address quoted is irrelevant and may not even exist.
Beware of sending large sums via a bank to bank transfer, even if the transfer is between UK banks. There have been cases of fraudulent transactions using this method. There will be no guarantee of return of the funds by the bank if the sale or purchase of goods is fraudulent because the funds have been deposited willingly by the sender. A false sense of security is instilled by the sender encouraging the use of this method.

Reporting an Incident

Collect paper copies of all computer information at the earliest opportunity, these include emails and other correspondence from shippers, eBay, Paypal or other websites, as well as the suspect.

The following information will be needed -

  • The full web address including the www.
  • The account details if you had to set up an account, which might include your email address and a username.
  • How the item was paid for ie cheque, card, postal order, paypal, bank transfer, money gram etc.
  • If it has been paid for using money gram, whether it was a Post Office moneygram or Western Union (It will state clearly on the receipt), and the MTCN reference number from the receipt.
  • Any postal addresses that the funds were sent to, in full, and any bank account details.

To report an incident to us, you can telephone us on 612612
Our auction websites page has specific safety tips and incident reporting advice for users of online auction sites.

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