Police Scotland have launched a campaign warning shoppers of the hidden dangers online.
The game show, Scam You!, is an initiative to help consumers carry out due diligence when online shopping.
This comes after consumers’ details were used to set up websites selling counterfeit goods.
An investigation by a major brand identified 2700 websites using a .uk domain selling fake versions of their products. More than 200 of these websites were registered in Scotland.
Victims had purchased the goods online – believing them to be genuine. Their details were then used to register more .uk domain sites.
In Scotland, people were affected from Edinburgh, to the Western Isles and the Orkney Islands.
All the counterfeit goods purchased originated from Asia.
Chief Superintendent John McKenzie, Head of Police Scotland’s Safer Communities, said: “As we move increasingly into a digital world, unfortunately so does serious organised crime.”
“Members of our communities have unsuspectedly ended up with counterfeit products and become the ‘owners’ of criminal websites when making online purchases.”
“The purchase of counterfeit products support serious organised crime groups, human trafficking and exploitation; it is not a victimless crime.”
Police Scotland say the signs to watch out for include:
- Spelling and grammatical errors which can indicate a website is not genuine
- The “contact us” page contains a web form online rather than any telephone or email details for the company’s headquarters
Scam You! will be promoted on Police Scotland’s social media channels and its website, which you can find here: http://www.scotland.police.uk/.
Sources: https://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glasgow-news/more-200-fake-websites-registered-14598001, http://www.scotland.police.uk/whats-happening/news/2018/april/police-scotland-warn-of-hidden-dangers-when-shopping-online