Shoppers warned over fake Christmas stocking fillers

Southend Standard: Shoppers warned over fake Christmas stocking fillers Shoppers warned over fake Christmas stocking fillers

ONLINE shoppers are being urged to be wary of fake stocking fillers this Christmas.

Southend Council is warning some of the cash used to buy gifts on Monday – the busiest online shopping day in December – may find its way into the pockets of criminals who sell potentially dangerous fakes.

The council’s trading standards team says online shoppers should be wary if something hard to come by is suddenly readily available or, if the price seems too good to be true.

Known fakes include mobile phones and electrical goods that can cause fires, children’s clothing with dangerous fastenings, toys and action figures containing toxic materials, alcohol with high levels of methanol and counterfeit cigarettes with excessive tar.

Tony Cox, Tory councillor responsible for public protection said: “If you are shopping online, make sure the website is genuine, type in web addresses yourself rather than clicking on links, and check the site displays contact details, a legitimate phone number and postal address.

“At the checkout, verify the web address bar has switched from ‘http:’ to ‘https:’ and the padlock icon is displayed before you enter any of your personal details. Any legitimate online site processing payments always switches to a secure connection at this stage.

“The main thing to remember is if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

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