Derbyshire police has issued advice to help prevent shoppers from becoming victims of fraud over the festive season.
With many people already having started their Christmas shopping, and Black Friday (November 24) and Cyber Monday (November 27) just around the corner, officers are reminding people of some simple steps they can take to avoid being scammed.
Tips for shopping online include:
* Use methods like PayPal when buying online or pay by credit card, as firms often offer fraud protection on your card for purchases of between £100 and £30,000; never transfer money to someone you don’t know.
* When making a transaction online, always look out for a padlock in the web toolbar, the padlock indicates that the site is secure.
* The ’s’ on the end of ‘http’ is another essential indicator that a site is secure for making transactions.
* If you’re buying tickets, always buy from official sources and never pay by direct transfer
* Secure wi-fi is vital for your privacy. 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.
There are also steps you can take to protect yourself while at the shops:
* Be aware of your surroundings when withdrawing cash from an ATM, or using your PIN at the till. Make sure no one is looking over your shoulder.
* Keep your cards safe. Always keep them secure in a purse, wallet or bag rather than your coat pocket. Never let your card out of your sight. Make sure shop or restaurant staff bring you the card reader rather than taking your card away.
Cyber Protect Officer Natasha Sagar said: “Each year, more and more people are buying Christmas gifts online. While it’s a great way to do your shopping, it’s important that you take steps to protect yourself.
“Remember to check the site you’re using is secure and if a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is. This is particularly true when purchasing larger items like televisions.
“You can also protect yourself from fraudsters when out at the shops. Contactless payment is becoming very popular so we would advise you not to let your card out your sight to reduce the risk of it being cloned. You must also remember to never keep your PIN together with your card.”