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UK Govt says ‘no’ to unprotected eshopping

Let's be careful out there

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The Government has published five top tips for safe e-shopping this Christmas in a bid to boost consumer confidence online.

In a nutshell, those thoughtful chaps at the Ministry suggest that shoppers only use trusted sites and that they keep a record of what they buy.

Oh, and if they do get ripped off, don't worry, because if their credit or debit card is used fraudulently in the EU, the card company must refund them.

If that's the case, what's stopping them? Well, that old favourite "security" appears to be to blame.

Research conducted by the MORI Social Research Institute for the Department of Trade and
Industry (DTI) reveals that despite its popularity, many shoppers still view the Net with some degree of suspicion.

Half of those surveyed were concerned about credit card fraud and a third were worried about giving out personal information.

But it's hoped this campaign will give consumers the confidence they need to shop online.

Said Sheila McKechnie, of the Consumers' Association: "Our own research has shown that as the number of Internet users continues to grow so does the number of consumers shopping online.

However, many consumers are still concerned about the risks associated with buying goods on the net.

"This new guidance leaflet should give consumers an understanding of how they can protect themselves when they use a credit card to shop online and also give them a clearer understanding of their consumer rights when they buy goods and services online," she said.

Indeed, it seems the UK's ecommerce minister, Douglas Alexander, has already taken the advice on board.

He's already been buying Christmas presents online, we hear. Now if that doesn't instil confidence... ®

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How to shop safely online - by the UK Government

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