Warning over sales scammers

WITH the January sales already underway online, police have issued a safety warning to shoppers to be aware of scammers.
In the run up to the festive season Fermanagh police had warned the community to be wary of fraudsters who were out to take advantage of shoppers both in stores and online.
The force has now warned people not to let their guard down, with the scammers still ready to strike, particularly online.
“Make sure a website is authentic by carefully checking the address is spelled correctly,” said a police spokesman. “Ideally, type it in rather than clicking on a link in an email, text or post. It’s easy for scammers to set up fake websites that are very similar to the real thing.
“Make sure payment pages are secure by checking that addresses begin with ‘https’ (‘s’ is for secure) and there’s a closed padlock in the address bar. The https and closed padlock mean that the page is secure, but the site could still be operated by fraudsters.
“Social media sites/apps and online forums are a popular place for advertising gifts, tickets and holidays. Many are genuine, but you need to be aware that others are fraudulent. Be extra vigilant about checking that such ads are authentic.”
The spokesman also warned shoppers to never transfer money directly to people or companies they don’t know.
“If it’s a fraud, your bank may not be able to recover or refund your money. If you can, pay by credit card. The same goes for holidays, travel and tickets,” they said.
The spokesman continued, “Log out of the web page or app when payment is completed. Simply closing it may not log you out automatically.
“Don’t knowingly buy fake or counterfeit goods and do all you can to make sure brands you do buy are genuine. Fakes are of inferior quality, contravene copyright law and affect the livelihoods of workers who make the real thing. They can also be unsafe in use.
“‘Low-cost’ or ‘free’ trials can cause problems if you don’t read the small print and look for independent reviews. Whether they’re for the latest handset or slimming pills, you could be signing up for large monthly direct debits which are very hard to cancel.”
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