Post-Christmas scam warning: Britons cautioned of new tactic

Martin Lewis warns of scam emails using his name

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Multiple scams have been reported due to social media fraudsters posing as sellers looking to get rid of unwanted Christmas presents. Money saving website NetVoucherCodes.co.uk shared the newest tactics being used and how shoppers can safeguard their post-Christmas spending sprees.

Roughly 11 percent of those celebrating Christmas end up with unwanted presents, and while some may keep them out of sentimentality, many turn to social media and online selling sites to get rid of the soon-to-be dust collectors. 

This annual mass movement to sell items quickly has become a notorious savings day for savvy shoppers, but new scam tactics could see them losing far more than they stand to gain. 

The money team at NetVoucherCodes.co.uk are “advising Brits to buy with caution” after more scams are emerging from online sites during Twixmas.

They suggested shoppers should do some background research on any sellers they plan to buy from.

Likewise, those getting rid of unwanted presents are wanted to only send out the sold items once the transfer has been confirmed by the bank. 

They noted some of the more common tactics involves selling desirable items at a low cost, or “deals that are too good to be true”.

Additionally, reports of hacking accounts by phishing for personal information has also been increasing. 

A spokesperson from NetVoucherCodes.co.uk commented: “There are plenty of steps you can take to try and ensure a seller is legitimate but if you ever think you have been scammed make sure you report the incident to the site and block the scammer.

“It only takes a second to report questionable profiles, ads, posts, or messages online. Every reputable selling site or social media marketplace will have an option to report on every page, post, and direct message.” 

NetVoucherCodes.co.uk shared their top tips for avoiding scammers:

Too good to be true

Shoppers are advised to approach rare, collectible or high-value items that are selling for a lot less than their retail price, particularly in-demand tech products. 

Check similar listings

For those that have found their ideal listing but are worried about its legitimacy can check listings for similar products across different websites.

NetVoucherCodes.co.uk advised if the seller has multiple listings of the same item or the item has been listed for a vast range of prices then it is likely a scam. 

Watch out for counterfeits

For rare or valuable items, shoppers should be wary of those selling counterfeit or fake replicas. 

Shoppers who have a vested interest in the item can ask the seller for images, proof or a well-lit video of the item to ensure it is real.

Additionally, buyers should check the sellers reviews and accounts, bad reviews or accounts that are brand new could be scams.

Wrongful funds

Those selling their unwanted Christmas gifts are equally at risk of scams through online shopping.  

Scam artists can buy items with fraudulent funds, which many sellers won’t notice until they have departed with their items. 

A new scam tactic has seen scammers paying the seller more than the item was listed for. They then claim to have made a mistake and request a full or partial refund. 

Sellers are advised to decline any overpayments and use approved payment channels such as PayPal. 

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