Derbyshire police are running a special campaign to protect residents falling victim to cyber fraudsters this Christmas.
The 12 online frauds of Christmas launches today (Friday), which is known as Black Friday as it marks the start of the busiest four days for internet shopping this year.
Over the next 12 working days, police will be raising awareness of different online frauds to help residents protect themselves from fraudsters.
Last year, between November 2013 and February 2014, there were over 14,000 reports nationally of online shopping and auction fraud. In Derbyshire, it cost residents in the region of £123,000.
Detective Inspector Rob King, Head of the Derbyshire Constabulary Economic Crime Unit said: “Christmas time should be a joyous and relaxing occasion, and for the majority of us, that is exactly what we can expect.
“Unfortunately, because fraudsters don’t take holidays over the Christmas period, there remains the risk that some of us, if we’re not careful, could fall victim to one of the frauds mentioned in our campaign.
“I would like to warn residents of the dangers out there and the basic steps they can take to protect themselves. The campaign will focus on 12 different fraud types, starting with online shopping fraud which is often how many people are caught out.
“The Christmas period is always a rush and there is never enough time to do what needs to be done and so anything that makes life a little easier will be welcome to us all. The internet can make life so much easier and it will do providing you do your bit and help us to ‘Stamp out Fraud in Derbyshire’.
“I urge online shoppers to think before they press that button, and to remind themselves of the simple motto, ‘If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is’. I also urge residents to check the authenticity of the site or product and make sure that you use secure and protected methods of payment.”
To report a fraud call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.
For more information about staying safe online visit www.getsafeonline.org and www.cyberstreetwise.com.