Online shopping scams up by two-thirds

Attempts to defraud online shoppers have soared by 65 per cent over lockdown, according to Which? analysis.

The news comes just days after Morrisons warned that scammers had sent emails masquerading as the supermarket.

Of the 400,000 cases of fraud reported in the year to April 2021, a quarter of these took place through online shopping.

It is believed that the e-commerce boom during the Covid-19 pandemic has given scammers more opportunities.

READ MORE: Asda & Morrisons customers targeted in delivery text scam

Over half of the victims were aged between 20 and 39, three in 10 were in their forties and fifties, while one in 10 were in their sixties or seventies.

Last week, con artists tried to steal bank details from Morrisons customers by asking them to complete an email “survey”.

Shoppers were baited in with the offer of winning supermarket vouchers worth up to £1000.

“Fraudsters have added to the suffering that many people have faced during the past year by using the pandemic and the increase in online shopping as a springboard,” Which? Money editor Jenny Ross said.

“Tech giants, banks, telecoms providers, regulators and the government need to […] make sure people cannot be targeted when going about everyday activities like shopping.

Phone and text scams were up by 83 per cent year-on-year.

In April, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) warned that Asda and Morrisons customers were being targeted by text scams.

Shoppers were sent links, supposedly to track their delivery, which were used to gain access to their bank accounts.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a greater reliance on home shopping deliveries making the public more open to falling for this scam than ever before,” CTSI lead officer Katherine Hart said.

She urged customers to check suspicious messages with their supermarket.



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