Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Christmas Buyers Beware: Tonight

Fraud is costing the UK economy £193 billion. Credit: Tonight/ITV

The countdown to Christmas has begun and for many of us we will be looking to buy those special presents for those nearest and dearest to us.

But with pressure on us all to get it done around our busy lives there’s a risk we might let our guard down.

And when that happens we could find ourselves in the hands of fraudsters.

Steve was lost over £600 while shopping online. Credit: Tonight/ITV

Fraud is costing the UK economy £193 billion.

When Steve Brodie bought a camera from a seller on Amazon Marketplace he never expected to become the victim of fraud.

When the camera was never delivered to him he found himself £615 out of pocket.

I felt physically sick .. when I found out it was never going to arrive.

– Steve

ITV’s Tonight programme has highlighted this new scam taking place on Amazon Marketplace.

The Marketplace sellers pages are hijacked through sophisticated means such as scam emails and then the hackers flood the site with low cost products that will never arrive.

They then coax consumers away from the site and get them to pay via bank transfer right into the fraudsters accounts.

Amazon advise - “Never to pay for a Marketplace item outside of the site and for all communications for Marketplace items between the seller and buyer to be conducted through the Amazon site.”

Consumer Champions Which? Said they - “Don’t think businesses are doing enough and think these scams are becoming ever more sophisticated.”

For those parents thinking of getting the must have electronic present this christmas Joann and her son Henry would ask that you listen to their story first.

Henry's hoverboard exploded in the family home. Credit: Tonight/ITV

When Joann bought her son, Henry, a hoverboard last year she believed she’d done everything right.

She had purchased the hoverboard from a well known retailer and assumed the product would be safe.

Henry noticed the hoverboard getting warm when it was on charge in his room.

So he unplugged it and took it to show his mum, Joann.

Just after Henry left the room the Hoverboard “exploded” causing burns to Joanns hands and arm.

Credit: Tonight/ITV

If that had blown up in his hands that would have killed him, there’s absolutely no doubt.

– Joann
Credit: Tonight/ITV

Electrical safety first have been identifying other dangerous goods that the public may be offered over the christmas period.

People might not be able to afford the must have electronic item this season and Electrical Safety First would say that you should opt for a non-branded option rather than a fake.

They showed us x-rays of these popular hair straighteners that identifies the differences between the fake and the genuine product.

Credit: Tonight/ITV

The problem here is that all the effort that the counterfeit manufacturers have put in is the appearance of the product.

In the genuine product there is a huge amount of circuitry and lots of that is for the protective circuitry, so you make sure that the hair straighteners don’t get too hot.

In the counterfeit one there’s nothing to stop it getting too hot.

Our main concern with these are the burns that people get from touching them and the fires that they cause.

– Electrical Safety First

Forget real world shopping and the buying of fake goods for a moment as nowadays lots of us will shop online.

Many of us use public wi-fi when we’re out and about whether that be in hotels or even coffee shops.

But Duo Security have told us that we need to be wary in these places too.

Credit: Tonight/ITV

Fraudsters can easily access your laptop or smartphone when you access public wi-fi through targeted attacks.

You don’t even need to access your bank details whilst on the public wi-fi as they can set a “backdoor” in your device.

This will allow them to access your details later when you log onto your bank details or purchase something online - giving them everything they need to use your account details or even end up selling your details on a secretive part of the internet - the dark web.

Chris Czub at Duo Security recommends the following to stay safe online:-

  • Use 2 factor authentication when available - this is when logging into emails your email provider might send you a text to your mobile to log in.
  • Change password regular and use alphanumeric passwords that aren’t your birthday or the word “password”
  • Only connect to wi-fi connections that are password protected and that you trust. A generic password that everyone can use does not mean its safe as you’re on the same network.

Christmas Buyers Beware is on ITV at 7.30pm on Thursday 1st December and then on The ITV Hub shortly after.

Why not let us know your experiences with these issues at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #ITVTonight.

Useful Links: