Detectives in Derbyshire are issuing advice to help keep shoppers safe when using online auction sites as part of the Stamp out Fraud initiative.
They say online auction sites are a popular way of buying new or second-hand goods but these sites can also catch the attention of a cyber-criminal.
Fraudsters setting up bogus websites to sell non-existent goods, shoppers not receiving goods, or receiving goods which do not match the advertiser’s description and victims being persuaded to sell their items early or at a low price, are just some of the risks posed online.
Detective Inspector Rob King, Head of the Derbyshire Constabulary Economic Crime Unit, said: “With Cyber Monday here and the festive season fast approaching, there isn’t a better time to think about boosting your online security.
“Over the last month, we have received a number of reports around online auction fraud and disputes over goods so we wanted to offer advice to help stamp out online scams.
“There are a number of safety steps you can take when using such sites such as ensuring that your contact information is up to date, and that you are aware of the terms and conditions of the site so you know what rules are in place to protect you.
“When using the sites, always search the buyer or seller as to their rating and transaction rating, and if the seller is a business, always check their real-world existence.”
For more advice around fraud, visit the dedicated Stamp out Fraud webpage at www.derbyshire.police.uk/stampoutfraud
If you think that you have been a victim of fraud, contact the non-emergency number for Derbyshire police on 101 or Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.