Online shopping scams surged during the pandemic with police data suggesting people in their 20s were most likely to fall victim.

Fraudsters posted bogus adverts for pets, cars and caravans to dupe people into handing over money.

Romance scams have also risen during the Covid crisis, affecting men and women of all ages.

BBC local radio stations are highlighting the risks and giving tips to avoid becoming the next victim.

Shopping danger

In total, 389,328 fraud cases were reported by victims in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the 12 months to April, according to figures from reporting service Action Fraud, with total losses from all scams reaching £1.7bn.

Fraud from online shopping was the most common type. The number of cases rose by 44% to 95,531 over the year – a time when many people turned to internet shopping with stores closed during lockdown.

Scammers used social media and other channels to advertise items or pets, often with attractive…

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