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Trading standards warning for Black Friday online shoppers

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AHEAD of Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, Worcestershire Trading Standards are helping people to shop safely online.

Many shoppers could be getting less than they have bargained for, with many people coming to Trading Standards with queries about fake or faulty goods that they have been sold online.

It is important to ‘stop before you shop’ and be wise to scams in disguise and trading standards chiefs have issued some tips for Worcestershire shoppers to stay cyber-safe.

Use online retailers you know and trust. Lots of bogus websites appear at this time of year with many advertised on social media.

Look at their reviews on independent websites and ask friends and family.

Always use a secure form of payment to buy things, eg PayPal. Never simply transfer money to someone’s account. If you use a credit card for purchases over £100 you will get extra consumer protection.

Watch out for counterfeit goods which can be unsafe. They’re not always easy to spot, but if it’s very cheap and not in a place, you’d expect to see such products – don’t buy them.

If it looks too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

Coun Marcus Hart, cabinet member for Communities, said: “More people are shopping online from their living room this year. So, shoppers must know how to keep themselves cyber safe and understand their rights as a consumer if things do not go to plan.”

When you shop online you have a 14-day cooling-off period to change your mind and return or cancel most goods or services purchased online from a UK or EU trader. You may have to pay to return unwanted items

If something you buy is faulty or was misdescribed, you have 30 days to return it and claim a refund.

After 30 days you must allow the retailer to repair or replace it first. These rights apply when buying online or in-store.

Call Citizens Advice Consumer Service at 0808 223 1133 or visit www.getsafeonline.org for more.

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