ASHBOURNE online shoppers are being reminded to take extra security steps when buying last minute Christmas presents and goods.
Police chiefs are warning that fraudsters will be taking advantage of the last minute rush and creating bogus websites to advertise goods that are counterfeit or will not be delivered.
Items advertised on these sites as genuine will often be fake, of poor quality and even unsafe to use.
Officers are urging the public to be vigilant and follow the useful tips for staying safe online to enjoy the festive season scam free.
Detective Inspector Rob King said: “I want everyone to enjoy the festive season and to remember it going in to the New Year as a happy time of year and not the time when we fall prey to online fraudsters.
“Last Christmas, more than 8,000 people were defrauded by bogus websites and a total of £12 million was stolen by fraudsters from people shopping online or participating in online auctions.
“Thankfully there are simple tips that you can take to help protect you and keep online fraudsters at bay this Christmas time, such as using brands and retailers that you trust and remaining vigilant when buying online.
“Remember to trust your instincts; if an offer looks too good to believe then there is usually a catch.”
More information is available online at www.actionfraud.police.uk.