Pet and shopping scams surge during pandemic

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

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The worst things you can do when shopping for plants, according to plant shop owners

LOS ANGELES — Shopping for houseplants now can be like playing the lottery: There’s no guarantee you will be rewarded with the jackpot. As houseplant sales have skyrocketed and more plant stores have opened, the demand for plants has become increasingly competitive for small businesses.

“I love that there are so many people who love plants,” said Potted co-owner Annette Gutierrez. “But the demand is astronomical right now, and there isn’t enough supply.” She added that the Suez Canal blockage resulted in a shortage of garden supplies.

As more people get vaccinated and return to shopping in person, expectations might not always match reality, particularly when demand is high and supply is low. Another thing retailers say is in short supply? Good manners.

The majority of customers are lovely, shop owners say, but some customers might not realize how hard they make it for shop owners to do their jobs

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Online shopping surge boost cardboard box maker Smurfit Kappa

The price of cardboard packaging has shot up in recent months as people turned to online shopping, boosting box makers like Smurfit Kappa, the company announced.



A surge in online deliveries has pushed up demand for the boxes the products come in (Aaron Chown/PA)


© Aaron Chown
A surge in online deliveries has pushed up demand for the boxes the products come in (Aaron Chown/PA)

Millions of boxes are being shipped each week, bringing everything from food to games and electronics to front doors around the world.

It is a boom which benefits not only online retailers – Amazon’s profit trebled in the first months of 2021 – but also those who supply them.

“The first quarter was remarkable in many ways. We had strong corrugated volume growth in practically every area and all markets in which we operate,” said Smurfit Kappa chief executive Tony Smurfit.

Underlying revenue jumped 6% to 2.3 billion euro (£2 billion) at the Dublin-based company which is listed on London’s FTSE 100 index.

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Houseplant care: Tips for plant shopping

Shopping for houseplants now can be like playing the lottery: There’s no guarantee you will be rewarded with the jackpot. As houseplant sales have skyrocketed and more plant stores have opened, the demand for plants has become increasingly competitive for small businesses.

“I love that there are so many people who love plants,” said Potted co-owner Annette Gutierrez. “But the demand is astronomical right now, and there isn’t enough supply.” She added that the Suez Canal blockage resulted in a shortage of garden supplies.

As more people get vaccinated and return to shopping in person, expectations might not always match reality, particularly when demand is high and supply is low. Another thing retailers say is in short supply? Good manners.

The majority of customers are lovely, shop owners say, but some customers might not realize how hard they make it for shop owners to do their jobs (and stay in

Read More