During the busy Christmas season, Lancashire Police are warning those buying presents online to look out for a potential online shopping delivery scam.
The warning, issued by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, comes following 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, and not checked before signing, each victim has found the package to be empty or to not contain the item they ordered.
The victims have then 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.
A spokeman said: “Always check seller feedback when buying online – if the seller has a lot of recent negative feedback, do not buy from them.
“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.
“And if you are asked to sign for a package and are in any doubt consider opening and verifying it before signing for the item.”
Visit www.actionfraud.police.uk for information.