Home Help Security centre Fraud awareness Online shopping scams Current Page

Online shopping scams

  • What are online retailer scams?


    Millions of us shop online every day and online scammers know it. From fake retailer websites and browser links that mimic our favourite stores, to spyware that passes on our details, scammers are using increasingly sophisticated tactics.

    These scams can allow criminals to collect financial details and use credit cards fraudulently. They may also be able to access personal details and passwords, to steal your online identity.

    Millions of us shop online every day and online scammers know it. From fake retailer websites and browser links that mimic our favourite stores, to spyware that passes on our details, scammers are using increasingly sophisticated tactics.

    These scams can allow criminals to collect financial details and use credit cards fraudulently. They may also be able to access personal details and passwords, to steal your online identity.

Online shopping scams cost UK consumers £58m a year*

  • How to spot the signs


    • an online offer on a luxury or well-known brand looks too good to be true
    • when you enter your details or reach the checkout, there is no padlock in the website address bar (a padlock is a sign that your connection is secure and the information shared is encrypted BUT it does not necessarily mean the website is genuine)
    • the retailer insists on immediate payment, or payment by bank transfer
    • you can’t find any contact details or shipping policies on the website.
    • an online offer on a luxury or well-known brand looks too good to be true
    • when you enter your details or reach the checkout, there is no padlock in the website address bar (a padlock is a sign that your connection is secure and the information shared is encrypted BUT it does not necessarily mean the website is genuine)
    • the retailer insists on immediate payment, or payment by bank transfer
    • you can’t find any contact details or shipping policies on the website.
  • How to buy safe


    • only buy from retailers and brands you know and trust 
    • avoid clicking on links – type the website name directly into the address bar
    • look for a padlock symbol in the address bar for a secure connection
    • always update your computer/phone/tablet operating software and install anti-virus software from a reputable company
    • pay with a credit card or payment option that gives you some protection
    • always ‘log off’ or ‘sign out’ of online banking or shopping accounts.
    • only buy from retailers and brands you know and trust 
    • avoid clicking on links – type the website name directly into the address bar
    • look for a padlock symbol in the address bar for a secure connection
    • always update your computer/phone/tablet operating software and install anti-virus software from a reputable company
    • pay with a credit card or payment option that gives you some protection
    • always ‘log off’ or ‘sign out’ of online banking or shopping accounts.

Worried that you've been targeted?

If you think you've been the victim of any scam, it's important to call us as soon as possible.

Call 03 456 100 100 (Lines are open 24/7, 365 days a year).