RESIDENTS across the whole county are being encouraged to look out for a potential online shopping delivery scam.

The warning has been issued by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau who have received a large number of reports from victims who have lost out in similar circumstances.

In each case the victim has bought something online, assuming that the seller is legitimate and in many cases payment has been taken through a reputable payment protection service.

When the package arrives and is signed for by someone at the delivery address, if the contents have not been checked before signing, each victim has found the package to be empty or to not contain the item they ordered.

The victims have attempted to track their orders online but discover that the package they signed for had the same tracking number as the ordered item and when disputing the problem it looks as though the package has been successfully delivered.

Residents are encouraged to follow a few simple steps in order to prevent them from becoming a victim of similar scams:

  • Always check seller feedback when buying online – if the seller has a lot of recent negative feedback, do not buy from them. It is not unknown for fraudsters to hack legitimate accounts or trick legitimate sellers into allowing them to use their account for fraudulent purposes, so focus on the most recent feedback.
  • Consider keeping a list of which items you and the people you live with are expecting to be delivered as it can be particularly confusing when you have a large number of items on the way, which is often the case in the run up to Christmas.
  • If you are asked to sign for a package and are in any doubt as to what it is for, consider opening and verifying it before signing for the item.

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting

You can follow Lancashire Constabulary at or for top tips on how to avoid becoming the victim of an online fraud this Christmas. 

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