ONLINE shoppers in Warwickshire are being warned to avoid festive fraudsters.
More than half of people in the UK will take to the internet to buy gifts this Christmas and Warwickshire Police are urging shoppers to be on the lookout for scams.
More than 100 people in the county were scammed online between November 2013 and February 2014 with victims losing a total of £97,000, just under £1,000 each.
Warwickshire Police have launched the #BeCyberSmart campaign to raise awareness of internet-related crime and help shoppers protect themselves.
DCI Sean Paley, from Warwickshire Police specialist operations unit, said: “Every year there is a spike in financial loss as a result of cyber crime around the festive period due to an increase in people shopping online in the run up to Christmas.
“We do not want to put people off using the internet to buy their gifts but we do want them to take some simple but effective steps to help protect themselves against falling victim to online crime.
“It is really important to have the latest security software installed on computers. I would also urge people to apply the same logic when they are using the internet as they would do in the real world. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”
For the launch of the #BeCyberSmart campaign Warwickshire Police have joined forces with Get Safe Online to encourage people to follow the organisation’s ’12 Online Safety Tips Of Christmas’.
Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, said: “Sadly, year on year we hear about people thinking they have got the perfect Christmas gift for someone but they end up disappointed because they didn’t recognise the most common scams out there.”
Visit www.getsafeonline.org and www.cyberstreetwise.com for more information.
If you think you have been a victim of fraud report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.