Parents are being urged to keep an eye out for scammers while doing their Christmas shopping.
The City of London police have released a warning saying that fraudsters around the country are targeting parents searching for bargains for their children’s Christmas presents, including the most popular toys of the year.
These scams are being presented as discount scams and often include items like Ugg boots and Apple products. According to figures from last year’s Christmas shopping period, Fingerling toys were the most affected and it is likely to begin again this year.
The most common way of doing this is with fake websites that lure parents into paying money through insecure software that then steals and duplicates card payments. Official advice is that if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Parents can protect themselves by being wary of incredibly cheap offers and only paying for goods via a secure platforms and to always be concerned by sellers offering bank transfer. If a website offers two factor authentication, this is a good way to check the site is genuine.
Some scammers are copying sites to make them look like other popular sites, like Amazon, so carefully look at the webpage if you have followed it from a link and check it is the genuine one before putting in your card details.
Always make sure your security software is up to date and your passwords are secure before starting an online search for sought after presents.
Local councils have also started urging parents to be aware of turning to online sellers who claim to be able to get hold of toys that have sold out elsewhere. Every year, thousands of counterfeit toys are seized by trading standards that are often not made to safety specifications and contain parts that can be a choking hazard.