Detectives issue fraud safety advice

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Detectives are issuing advice to help keep shoppers safe when using online auction sites as part of the Stamp out Fraud initiative.

Online auction sites are a popular way of buying new or second-hand goods, however these sites can also catch the attention of a cyber-criminal.

Fraudsters setting up bogus websites to sell non-existent goods, shoppers not receiving goods, or receiving goods which do not match the advertiser’s description and victims being persuaded to sell their items early or at a low price, are just some of the risks posed online.

Detective Inspector Rob King, head of the Derbyshire Constabulary Economic Crime Unit, said: “Online shopping is a huge industry and fraudsters are increasingly taking advantage of the trend, particularly on auction sites.”

“There are a number of safety steps you can take when using such sites such as ensuring that your contact information is up to date, and that you are aware of the terms and conditions of the site so you know what rules are in place to protect you.”

“When using the sites, always search the buyer or seller as to their rating and transaction rating, and if the seller is a business, always check their real-world existence.”

Other top tips for using auction sites safely from Get Safe Online include to always double check online stores’ privacy and returns policies, be clear about shipping and delivery costs, be clear about methods of payment and whether any of these incur a surcharge, provide only the minimum necessary personal information to sellers and buyers such as your address for collection or despatch purposes and double check all details of your purchase before confirming payment.

For more advice around fraud, visit the dedicated Stamp out Fraud website at www.derbyshire.police.uk/stampoutfraud.

Call Derbyshire Police on the 101 non-emergency number.