Sixty-five people reported being victims of online shopping fraud in Greater Manchester last week.
On the run up to Christmas police are urging shoppers keen to grab a bargain, to take caution and be sure they know who they are purchasing goods from.
The average loss per online shopping fraud last week was around £200 per person.
The most common types of online shopping fraud
Officers say purchases on Facebook marketplace where people are paying upfront before receiving the item, then fail to receive their purchase are very common. The item is either an empty box or something completely different to the purchased item.
Many purchases of high value goods on Instagram, such as trainers and handbags, are also turning out to be fake once delivered.
GMP’s Economic Crime Unit is combatting this issue ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday by ensuring specialist teams are working with communities across Greater Manchester in November and December to hand out crime prevention advice.
Officers are also working with City of London Police to ensure that any fraudulent websites are disrupted and taken down.
Detective inspector Jill Billington of GMP’s Economic Crime Unit, said, “We understand that because of the rising cost of living, people are trying to get the most from their money and save where they can.
“This year’s Christmas season will add pressure on people at an already expensive time of year.
“With retailers already cutting prices for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, it is easy to rush into making a purchase to try and grab a bargain as quickly as possible, but we want people to stop and think before buying.
“Please don’t forget, criminals still operate at this time of year and will take the opportunity to try and get you to part with your money. We want to ensure Greater Manchester is protected from this crime type and work together to stop this heinous offence.”
Police say you should make sure you know where and who you are buying from, and use a credit card to offer protection, should things go wrong.
While its figures show that people aged 25-34 years old are most likely to fall victim to an online shopping scam, fraud can affect anyone of any age.
How to report online shopping fraud
Fraud is a serious crime. If you suspect it, you must report it.
- If you, or someone you know is vulnerable to fraud please report it online or call us on 101.
- For more information and help or to report these and many other types of fraud, go to Action Fraud.
- If you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud you can find further advice from Victim Support.