Message from our local Watch Liaison Officer

 Christmas Shopping Online – Safety Tips

The run up to Christmas is the busiest time for shoppers …and for online fraudsters too, who take advantage of the fact that you’re busy and looking for a bargain. Here are some easy-to-follow tips to help protect you.

–           Keep your devices up to date (install the latest software and app updates) and use strong passwords.

–           Before making a purchase, ensure the shopping site is authentic. Research unfamiliar retailers online to learn from other customers’ experiences.

–           If something seems too much of a bargain…it probably is!  It could well be of poor quality, not as described, or even non-existent.

–           Ensure the payment page is secure by checking that the address starts with ‘https’ (‘s’ is for secure) and there’s a closed padlock in the address bar. However, this does not guarantee that the shop itself is legitimate.

–           Never pay by transferring money directly to people or companies you don’t know, however desperate you are to buy. The safest way to pay online is by credit card.  Alternatively, use a secure payment site such as PayPal – but beware phoney PayPal emails. – When you’ve finished your payment, log out, as simply closing the page may not end your session.

–           Beware emails or texts from delivery firms asking you to open an attachment for your delivery note – a real delivery firm wouldn’t do this.  Any unexpected emails or texts urging you to click on a link for any reason should be treated with caution.

–           Take care not to get duped into buying counterfeit goods. Similarly, do not buy them intentionally, as they contravene copyright law, cost livelihoods of authentic workers, can be of poor quality, or dangerous.

Every report matters – if you are a victim of fraud, report it online at or by calling 0300 123 2040.  For more information, visit:

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address:


Scam Phone Calls

Victims are being called by bogus police officers and bank officials asking them to withdraw cash, purchase goods or provide bank cards and PIN numbers for collection by a courier. The fraudsters will often ask the victims to call back on 999, 101 or 161 to verify that they are genuine, however this is part of the scam. They keep the line open so that the victim continues to speak to the fraudster believing they are genuine officials..

If you believe that you are a victim of this scam please contact Hertfordshire Constabulary’s non- emergency number 101, using a different phone to that used to communicate with the fraudsters. If a fraud is in progress or someone’s life is in danger, call 999 immediately.

Hertfordshire Constabulary offers the following crime prevention advice:

  • Be sceptical of callers, even those who claim to be officials.
  • Don’t be afraid to put the phone down with a brief ‘No, thank you’. • NEVER give personal information, such as your date of birth or bank details, to unexpected callers.
  • Remember that the police or your bank would NEVER unexpectedly call you and ask you to withdraw cash or move your money to another account, as a result of fraud or any other reason.
  • If callers suggest you call your local police or bank to check who they are, use another phone or ensure the line has been fully disconnected by phoning a friend or relative first, or by waiting at least five minutes, otherwise you may think you’ve phoned a number, but you’re simply talking to the fraudsters again.

Visit or for advice on avoiding scams.

To see a video demonstrating how fraudsters operate visit:

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address:



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