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The UK government has warned bargain hunters to be extra vigilant when searching for deals online this Black Friday and in the run-up to Christmas, confirming that cyber criminals netted more than ÂŁ12m online during the same period last year.

The UK government issued the warning on Thursday, also revealing that its Action Fraud hotline received more than 10,000 reports about active cyber scams last year. Each scam reportedly earned the criminals an average of ÂŁ1,700 per victim.

Dave Clark, detective chief superintendent of the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, highlighted scams masquerading as deals on technology products, like the Apple iPhone and iPad, as being particularly problematic. "Online shopping has revolutionised the way we buy our Christmas presents, with each year more and more people choosing to search for gifts over the internet rather than heading to the shops. However, the result is that online fraud is top of the festive scam list," he said.

Source: Micron Associates

Micron associates online shoppers warned of scam websites