Scammers have been stealing hundreds from shoppers by creating a fake website claiming to be Wilko’s online shop following the chain’s collapse into administration.
South Yorkshire Police said they had received 19 reports of people losing cash to a fake site.
Shoppers have lost around £200 each after being scammed by the website, with the total estimate of cash lost £3,800.
PC Angela Senior said: “Unfortunately, cyber scammers are often very good at making fake shopping websites look realistic.
“It’s really important that people remain vigilant to the fact that these fake websites are out there and make the necessary checks before making any purchases.”
A force spokesperson said: “We know how tempting discounts and clearance sales can be, however, we encourage people to stop and query whether the deal is too good to be true before they make a purchase.”
The police are not the only ones who are issuing warning, Santander has also warned that as a collective customers have lost £300,000 since August.
Fraudsters are reportedly targeting bargain hunters looking to make big savings in clearance sales.
These fake deals are usually advertised on social media or through fake websites and often pretend to be from brands which are in the news.
According to the bank, over 5,000 disputes were raised involving merchants that had been set up by scammers in the last month alone.
Homeware and hardware store Wilko prepares for their final goodbye[LATEST]
Full list of Wilko shops reopening as Poundlands within days[INSIGHT]
Santander warning as customers lose £300,000 to criminals[ANALYSIS]
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Chris Ainsley, the head of Fraud Risk Management at Santander, broke down why situations such as Wilko closing give scammers the opportunity they need to steal your cash.
He explained: “Fraudsters see the news of large retailers closing shops as an opportunity to try and turbocharge their own closing down or clearance sale scams.
“We often see a worrying spike of this type of scam, when an announcement like this is made public. If you see an advert for discounts which sounds too good to be true, it probably is a scam.
“Even if the advert uses recognisable logos and brand names, people should be alert and ensure they are visiting genuine websites.”
Wilko announced in August the company has gone into administration putting at risk the jobs of some 12,500 workers.
The discount hardware and furnishings chain has been shutting its 400 UK stores over the past month. On Sunday, Wilko will shut the doors of its final 41 stores after they finish serving customers.
Store shelves have already become bare as it sells off its last remaining products in order to recover more cash to help repay Wilko’s outstanding debts.
Source: Read Full Article