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Christmas Shopping Online - Safety Tips

Christmas Shopping Online - Safety Tips


The run up to Christmas is the busiest time for shoppers …and for online fraudsters too, who take advantage of the fact that you’re busy and looking for a bargain. Here are some easy-to-follow tips to help protect you.

- Keep your devices up to date (install the latest software and app updates) and use strong passwords.

- Before making a purchase, ensure the shopping site is authentic. Research unfamiliar retailers online to learn from other customers’ experiences. 

- If something seems too much of a bargain…it probably is!  It could well be of poor quality, not as described, or even non-existent.

- Ensure the payment page is secure by checking that the address starts with ‘https’ (‘s’ is for secure) and there’s a closed padlock in the address bar. However, this does not guarantee that the shop itself is legitimate.

- Never pay by transferring money directly to people or companies you don’t know, however desperate you are to buy. The safest way to pay online is by credit card.  Alternatively, use a secure payment site such as PayPal – but beware phoney PayPal emails. - When you’ve finished your payment, log out, as simply closing the page may not end your session.

- Beware emails or texts from delivery firms asking you to open an attachment for your delivery note - a real delivery firm wouldn’t do this.  Any unexpected emails or texts urging you to click on a link for any reason should be treated with caution.

- Take care not to get duped into buying counterfeit goods. Similarly, do not buy them intentionally, as they contravene copyright law, cost livelihoods of authentic workers, can be of poor quality, or dangerous.

Every report matters – if you are a victim of fraud, report it online at or by calling 0300 123 2040. For more information, visit:

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