Dorset residents have been warned of ‘red flags’ online to avoid scams

Dorset RESIDENTS are warned to follow a set of rules to avoid online scams.

As yesterday (Tuesday 14 June) marked the start of the Scam Awareness Fortnight, an initiative by Citizens Advice is highlighted, aiming to create a network of confident and alert consumers who know what to do when they spot a scam .

A Dorset Police spokesperson said: “When using a search engine to find a store, or a phone number for example, do not click on the first link.

“The first two or three links in the search results are paid advertisements, marked with a small ‘Ad’ symbol.

“This is often how scammers trick people into calling fake customer support phone numbers.

“The first click you see is the legitimate website, under the ‘People are also looking for’ section. The second click may be what appears to be an advertisement for Argos. This takes users to a completely unrelated website, claiming to offer vouchers to ‘a few lucky users’.

The URL is different and usually a countdown timer to add time pressure. There may be “Facebook comments” showing that people have received different items than what is allegedly offered. These are all major red flags.

“Our advice is never to trust this top link. It’s not really a search result. It could have been paid for by anyone.

“Scroll down until you find a result with no ‘ad’ next to it and go from there.”

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