South Yorkshire Police issue warning over online fraudsters

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Police have issued a warning about cyber fraudsters in a bid to avoid South Yorkshire residents becoming victims as they shop online in the run up to Christmas.

The campaign, ‘The 12 Online Frauds of Christmas’ is aimed at raising awareness of scams and encouraging internet users to step up their security.

Graham Wragg

Graham Wragg

Graham Wragg, Fraud Manager for South Yorkshire Police, said: “As the pressure mounts to buy those perfect Christmas presents the online market place can be a convenient and sometimes cheaper place to shop.

“It also provides the perfect platform for fraudsters to operate with anonymity and relieve you of your hard earned income.

“Please follow advice and make this a Merry Christmas for you and yours and not the fraudster.”

The campaign was launched on Black Friday, which marked the start of the busiest four days of internet shopping of the year, and over the next two weeks there will be a new scam highlighted daily, starting with e-Christmas cards today.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Christmas e-Cards sent via email may be carrying a virus that can embed itself and then corrupt your smart phone, tablet or laptop.”

The campaign is a national initiative backed by 37 other police forces and a range of public and private sector organisations all committed to flagging up the threat of online frauds, identified by the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

City of London Police Commander Steve Head, who is overseeing the campaign, said: “Easy access to the internet has revolutionised the way we shop and pay for Christmas gifts and festive breaks, and how we go about searching for a New Year romance.

“Unfortunately it has also made us vulnerable to crooks that specialise in creating online cons that lure people in with the promise of cheap deals.”