A WARNING has been issued to Wiltshire shoppers by police – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

In support of an Action Fraud campaign, fraud officers want to remind people of the potential pitfalls of shopping online and what can be done to limit the risks.

Wiltshire Police fraud manager Alison Wiles said: “There are some really simple steps everyone can take to shop safely, like making sure your shopping and online financial platforms are secure with strong passwords, which you must never share.

“Also, check the website you’re on is legitimate.

"Be on the lookout for potential phishing emails or text messages with direct links, don’t click on those links, instead go through the retailer’s own website, and be extra wary of sites you haven’t used before.

"Do some research first; internet searches may provide helpful information about current scams.

“Older or less technically-minded people living alone are most at risk, we ask those in communities who are more savvy on online shopping orfraud, to look out for your less knowledgeable friends, family or neighbours.”

During last year’s festive period some 28,000 people reported falling victim to online shopping fraud with losses coming in at a total of £15.4 million.

Police warn that criminals know this is a time people are looking for a deal and might be more tempted to click on a suspicious link or share personal information when feeling the festive pressure.