Online Shopping Scams Increase in UK

March 12th, 2013

The UK internet shopping market has seen a growth over the past few years but scammers take advantage of this online platform and rip off innocent shoppers of big bucks, resulting in many sad cases of online shopping scams being reported recently.

How do Scammers Operate Online?

Scammers generally pretend to sell a product or products. To attract unsuspecting people, they may just portray that they are selling these items at a very cheap rate as compared to the big wigs of online stores. They may demand your credit card details and bank account information in the name of a purchase transaction. The money gets deposited in their account and you do not even get their services or often get inferior quality product.

Auction sales and big discount offers on products can often be just a scam. The online shopping medium in UK is often rigged by such clever organisations whose whole intention is to fool people on the pretext of providing them the necessary products. Lucy draw offers and even free shipment of expensive products are some of the common ways that scammers try to gain information about your bank account.

Warnings Signs

  • The product may have very low price with additional freebie offers.
  • The sale is not completed in the initial site but done outside at another page with different gateway which may not be secure at all.
  • The insistence on payment is more with a stress on electronic transfer of funds.
  • There may be inadequate information on contact details, privacy and also terms of use and other conditions.
  • There may be too many popups relating to similar dubious sale offers on the page.

How to Protect Yourself from Online Scams?

To avoid becoming the victim of an online scam you should read the page regarding terms and condition of sale and also their privacy page. Look out for the contact details of the same and try to see through the loopholes if any. In  addition to this, do not provide personal credit card and bank account details before making the purchase, and see to it that all the payment is done through a secure network.

  • Get the site verified by contacting the local office of the fair trading to know the authenticity of the store.
  • Look out for websites that begin with ‘https//:’, the secure page generally has a sign of unbroken key at the bottom of the browser.
  • If you feel that the site is not authentic then you can report them as scams. You may get a report to this later.
  • The best way to deal with online shop scamming is to use your common sense. Sometimes your intuition may tell you that a certain offer may be too good to be true so it is better to safeguard yourself from such sites.
  • You can study online the different cases of UK online scamming to get a brief idea about similar fraudulent projects.

So keep your eyes open to identify any such online scams and save yourself from getting duped.

Matt Walker is a Social Media Analyst. He is also an accomplished  online marketing personnel. He suggests tips for online purchase and safe gateways to buy the products. You can find his posts on

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