Police in Nottinghamshire are urging people not to be ‘conned out of Christmas’.
Last Christmas individuals and businesses reported losing £16,426,989 to fraudsters through online shopping and auction fraud.
This was a 42 per cent increase in total financial loss compared with the 2013 festive period where £9,522,491 was lost by victims.
Last year’s report shows that the most common time for victims to initially make contact with the fraudster was on November 28- Black Friday (221 victims) and December - Cyber Monday (205 victims), as people head online to try and bag the best festive bargains.
Samantha Hancock crime prevention unit manager for Nottinghamshire Police said: “This serves as a warning to consumers to be extra vigilant on these key Christmas shopping days as online fraudsters are watching and waiting to capitalise on the biggest shopping frenzies of the year.
“The most common item being bought and sold by victims and fraudsters were mobile phones.
“People reported trying to get good deals on some of the most popular models of smart phones, but what they thought was going to be a bargain never actually arrived leaving them without presents to give on Christmas day.
“Others reported being defrauded whilst trying to buy footwear, clothing, watches, gaming consoles, computers, furniture and home electricals.”
Action Fraud and Get Safe Online have launched a national fraud prevention campaign which will be supported by police forces across the country.
The aim is to provide practical fraud and cyber crime protection tips which aim to prevent people from getting conned out of the Christmas that they deserve.