With shopping online becoming a weekly activity for many across the UK, especially during lockdown, online scams have unfortunately started to re-emerge.
At Humberside Police, we have a dedicated department – the Economic Crime Unit – which focuses on investigating serious and complex fraud. You can read more about their department and how fraud is investigated here.
Detective Sergeant Ben Robinson said: “I want to take this opportunity to make people aware of a sophisticated scam which has become particularly prevalent over the last year and has affected members of the Humberside Force area.
“This is an online shopping scam, where individuals are selling products to fraudulent buyers.
“These buyers are then falsifying payment by creating a fake receipt via email which tells the seller that the money has been held and will only be released once the item has arrived.
“As a result, the fraudulent buyer is then able to keep both the money and the item.
“To avoid becoming a victim to this scam, please ensure any communications you have post-sale are through the correct company email address. All emails sent to you through the payment company will be grammatically correct and can be easily found on their website.
“It’s also advised to make sure you receive confirmation of payment before sending the item.
“These online fraud scams can have a devastating impact on an individual.
“The more knowledge people have about scams, the better prepared we can be to protect ourselves going forward.
“We are encouraging everyone to start talking about online shopping fraud with their family members and the local community.”
If you do become a victim of fraud, please report this through Action Fraud. The online reporting tool can be used at any time of the day.
Who should I report fraud to?
In any instance, if you or someone else is in immediate danger or risk of harm then dial 999 straight away.
To report fraud or cybercrime, this can be done through Action Fraud.
This is quick and easy and the tool will guide you through simple questions to identify what has happened and advisors will be on hand 24 hours a day to provide you with advice and help.
At this point, you will be given the option to register, log in to an existing account or continue as a guest.
By registering, you’ll be able to:
If you continue as a guest, you will only be able to receive updates by email or post.