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Lichfield and Burntwood sales shoppers warned of online scams

People in Lichfield and Burntwood looking for bargains online as they start their sales shopping are being warned to be vigilant of scams.

Staffordshire residents have already fallen victim to fraudsters after receiving counterfeit goods, including fake iPods and UGG boots.

Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture Ben Adams said:

“Many of us shop online now as it’s quick and convenient. However internet shoppers are increasingly being targeted by criminals and that’s why it is important people follow the advice of the Trading Standards team.

“Counterfeit goods are not only substandard; they harm legitimate business and can fund organised crime.

“These are a few simple but important steps to take each time people buy online and they may well protect them from becoming victims of crime.”

Scam websites are often difficult to tell from genuine websites but there are some tell-tale signs people can look out for. Trading Standards said people should be wary if the site:

  • Offers are too good to be true, for example the price of an item is markedly lower than the market rate.
  • Has no information about the identity of the person operating the business such as the proprietor’s name or the company’s full name.
  • Has no geographic address for the business, preventing people from locating the business in the event of a dispute.
  • Makes no mention of any cancellation rights.
  • Has unfair or restrictive terms and conditions which limits people’s legal rights.
  • Only accepts payments via money transfer services such as MoneyGram and/ or Western Union.

People with concerns about shopping online should Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06, visit www.consumerdirect.gov.uk or contact the county council’s Trading Standards team on 0300 111 8000. Advice can also be found at the online shopping assistant.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.