Police warn online shoppers about cyber fraud over Christmas period

  • GMP today reiterated their warning to shoppers of the dangers of online fraud ahead of Black Friday and the busy Christmas period
  • 80% of fraud is preventable if right precautions are taken by online shoppers

  • Students particularly at risk over social media

With Black Friday around the corner, Mancunians are preparing to get their hands on the latest online cut-price deals.

GMP have reiterated their warning that Deals which seem too-good-to-be-true are too-good-to-be-true .

Detective investigator Martin Hopkinson spoke with the NQ warning that fraudsters are targeting online shoppers with deals which are too-good-to-be-true, using fake websites to tempt them into handing over their hard earned cash: "People need to take the right steps to protect themselves.

"Fraudsters are very skillful at what they do. They pray on the fact that people are looking for bargains in time for Christmas, not to mention the current economic climate. Put two and two together, and what do you get?"

Detective Inspector Martin Hopkinson
Detective Inspector Martin Hopkinson

Asked how people can protect themselves from becoming the victim of online fraud, the Detective said: "The main thing is to always be aware, 80% of fraud is preventable.

"Never send money directly to a bank account. Always check the authenticity of the website; is it a physical company with an address and phone number?

Fraudsters are praying on shopper's demand for cheap deals during this time of year, setting up completely fake websites. The main point is to never send your money directly to a seller's bank account, I can't stress that enough.

"Arrange a face-to-face meeting, do your research on the company or seller before you do decide to go ahead with the transaction."

Social media is a particular hotbed of cyber-fraud, with many scammers preying on shoppers in Buy, Swap and Sell pages. Detective Inspector Hopkinson warned that: "Unfortunately once the scammers have your details, you're sadly going to lose your money.

"Not every fraud crime can be investigated, so stop, take a minute to think before you hand over your details. Banks may not refund you."

Students, in particular, being targeted for money laundering: "These scammers know that students need money, so they're offered them money to store illegal money in their accounts. Just say no, we've seen students liable for money laundering.  

"If you are unfortunate and become a victim of cyber-fraud, then your first recourse should be to immediately contact your bank and inform them of the crime, and then report the crime to Action Fraud."

For more information on staying safe online visit:  www.gmp.police.uk/trappedintheweb or follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag #TrappedInTheWeb


To report a fraud crime or to get advice about fraud or internet crime, call Action Fraud on: 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk