Police Scotland is warning of the hidden dangers of shopping online after consumers’ details were used to set up websites selling counterfeit products.
Officers are working in partnership with the Intellectual Property Office to reinforce the need to ensure security while spending your cash online.
An animated game show based on cases investigated by Police Scotland has been developed to highlight the dangers of shopping online without taking proper steps to protect your security.
It comes after a major brand identified around 2,700 websites on the .uk network selling counterfeit items of their goods.
More than 200 of these sites were registered in Scotland.
Victims had purchased the products, many believing they were genuine, and their details were then used to register websites on the .uk network.
The products they had originally purchased through the internet were all from Asia.
People from right across Scotland were affected, with victims in locations ranging from Edinburgh to the Western Isles and Orkney.
Chief Superintendent John McKenzie, Head of Police Scotland’s Safer Communities, said: “As we move increasingly into a digital world, unfortunately so does serious organised crime.
“Members of our communities have unsuspectedly ended up with counterfeit products and become the ‘owners’ of criminal websites when making online purchases.
“The purchase of counterfeit products support serious organised crime groups, human trafficking and exploitation; it is not a victimless crime.”
The game show, Scam You!, will be promoted on Police Scotland’s social media channels and its website.