alert-icon@2xalert-icon@2xion-close-round - Ionicons- white@2x Skip to content

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance: Click here for what you can and cannot do

Report online For non emergencies
Call 999 For emergency calls only
Call 999 For emergency calls only
Call 101 If unable to report online
Call 101 If unable to report online

Online Shopping 849x400

Before you buy online, read our tips to make sure you are safe and secure.

Try to use retailers and services you know about - or ones that have been personally recommended to you

But there are also extra things to remember when shopping online:

• A company might have a great website, but that doesn't mean it's law-abiding.Online Shopping 2 iStock_000057169794_Small

• Make sure you know the trader's full address - especially if the company is based outside the UK. The internet makes buying from abroad easy so it’s important you know your rights.

• Although shopping from overseas websites is relatively safe it may be difficult to enforce your contract if things go wrong. If the item or service is over £100 then consider paying by credit card.

• Look for websites that have a secure way of paying (known as an encryption facility) - these show a padlock at the bottom of the screen when you are filling in the payment details.

• Check whether the company has a privacy statement that tells you what it will do with your personal information.

• Look for firms that are part of an independent approval scheme. These are companies that have signed up to particular standards.

If you suspect anything suspicious do not use their website and report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit their website at:

Also in Advice Centre...