Warning following on-line shopping recorded delivery scam

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Police are warning on-line shoppers about a scam taking place nationally which links to the signing for recorded delivery items.

Action Fraud has received a large number of reports from victims who have been defrauded when attempting to purchase items on online shopping and auction websites, with offenders exploiting victims’ readiness to sign for deliveries before checking the contents.

In these cases the victims buy items on-line and await the delivery; in the meantime an unrelated item is delivered and signed for by an unsuspecting occupant. The victim then waits for the initial order to arrive, but it never does.

The victim then attempts to track down their package online and discover that the package they signed had the same tracking number, at this stage they realise they have been scammed. This causes the victim problems when they subsequently dispute the transaction with the on-line site as the tracking information confirms that an item has been successfully delivered to the victim’s address.

To prevent this scam members of the public are advised to follow the advice below when shopping on-line or on auction sites:

• Always check seller feedback when buying online – if the seller has a lot of recent negative feedback, do not buy from them.

• Consider keeping a list of items you and the people your home are expecting to be delivered as it can be particularly confusing when you have a large number of items on the way, which is often the case in the run up to Christmas.

• If you are asked to sign for a package and are in any doubt as to what it is for, consider opening and verifying it before signing for the item.

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.