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Safe Shopping Online: Cyber Safe Advice

Advice on how you can avoid falling for common online shopping scams.

Safe Online Shopping

Stick To Trusted Brands & Websites

Always double check that the name is spelled right in the URL (“” not “”) – small differences like the number 0, instead of the letter o could be the only difference.

Make sure apps are downloaded from genuine app stores, (e.g. the App Store on Apple devices; and the Google Play Store on Android devices). 


  • Stick to trusted brands, sites and app stores.
  • Look for HTTPS and a padlock within the address bar when entering personal details.
  • Go directly to the website to claim an offer; rather than clicking on links in emails or on social media.
  • Watch out for scams via email and on social media (see more below).
  • Use payments with protection (see the bottom of the article).

Look Out For Email Scams & Offers

  • Deals that look too good to be true usually are.
  • Anything that asks for personal information by email is very likely criminal.
  • Check the email address of the sender
  • Hover your mouse over links (but don’t click them) to see where they want to take you. For more information on phishing emails, click here.

Watch Out for Social Media Shopping Scams

Social media sites give criminals access to millions of potential victims, by posting scam posts across these sites.

In reality, these links may download viruses to your device, and any information you pass over through the link goes straight to the criminals.

Social media ‘buy & sell’ pages also needed to be approached with caution for any rogue traders.

Get more information on how you can be 'social media savvy' here

Use Payments with Protection

Debit cards should be avoided when buying online, as they offer little to no protection in case anything goes wrong.

Credit cards and online services such as PayPal are recommended options which secure your payment and offer greater consumer protection.