Met Police’s central e-crime UnitBingo Hideout and The Buzz readers should be aware that with fraud on the increase and with the run up to Christmas that they are shopping online at sites that are legitimate. Luckily for online shoppers the Metropolitan Police’s central e-crime Unit along with the Trading Standards, manufacturers, The Office of Fair Trading and Consumer Direct site have managed to not only identify a huge amount of rogue internet shopping sites but have also closed down 1,219 of them.  The sites mainly in Asia are run by criminal networks that have been specifically targeting the UK consumer market offering fake designer goods.  This years Christmas ‘must-haves’ like Ugg boots, Tiffany jewellery and ghd hair stylers are just some of the high value goods that some of these websites have been offering all of which were either counterfeit, poor quality copies or in some instances were not even delivered after purchase.

Though these rogue sites – all based abroad but with UK domain names – have been shut down there is still good reason to remain vigilant when making purchases online.  Bingo Hideout recommends shoppers to use reputable sites to make purchases online, sites that use secure methods of payment and payment by credit card and also have full contact details with full UK postal address, email address, telephone number and company number.  A quick search engine scan for a company name that you are unsure of should also turn up blogs or forums where purchasers have had problems in the past if there is anything to be concerned with.

Bingo Hideout really believes that shopping online is a great way to purchase Christmas presents but just by following a few simple rules shoppers can protect themselves from future problems.  Remember also after shopping online to clear your PC’s cache and use a good anti-virus software programme which you have updated.  Remember if an offer is too good to be true then it most likely is! Happy Christmas shopping and of course Happy Christmas to all our readers, making sure you carry out safe online christmas shopping now will ensure a much happier New Year. A full report on the scam websites involved can be found by following the Metropolitan Police e-crime unit link.