Black Friday is big for shopping, in the UK this year about £10 billion big. Sadly, many fraudsters try to capitalise on this frenzy of the year and work hard to defraud the unsuspecting shopper. According to Action Fraud, last year £16.5m was lost to online shopping fraud between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This guide will highlight the most common threats and tips to avoid becoming a victim during this shopping season.
Common Black Friday Scams
The rise of fake websites during Black Friday is staggering. Fraudsters will impersonate legitimate online sellers, setting up websites to look exactly like the real thing. When you click on the checkout button, you’ll be asked to in-put your bank card information as you normally would– except this time…
Gift Card Scam
Gift cards are great, everybody loves the freedom they give, unfortunately fraudsters know this and sell fake discounted gift cards to the unwary.
Unsolicited emails are rife during the festive season as companies compete for business promoting their special offers and deals. Fraudsters are one-step ahead, deploying email marketing of their own to garner personal information or to install malicious viruses and malware onto your device. Criminals know that your identity is worth more than gold.
How to avoid becoming a victim of Black Friday shopping Scams
- Safe site? – Look for https:// and the padlock icon to ensure you are browsing secure sites, do not use sites without them.
- Is it real? – Check grammar, spelling, and URL of websites. These can be a clue for fake websites.
- Pay Safe – use a credit card for all online shopping purchases they provide a lot more protection than debit cards or PayPal. Avoid any requests for bank transfers or wire transfers.
- Who’s it from? – Unsolicited Emails, don’t respond to emails from people you do not know. Delete them! Definitely do not click on the links!
- Protect – Keep your anti-virus software updated and turned on, as the software will help weed out unsecure sites and phishing attempts.
- Do you know the seller? – Consider buying from well established companies, as they offer a good level of protection and have guarantees in place, if you don’t check their online reviews.
- Too good to be true – Then it’s a scam!
- Passwords – Use strong separate passwords for your online accounts. Strong passwords are at least 8 characters, with symbols, upper case/lower case letters and avoid self-identifiers. See our guide to safe passwords.
Still Unsure? – Call Reassura 0800 888 6400 and one of our fraud advisor’s will help you to stay safe.
If you think that you may have been a victim of online shopping fraud:
- Contact ActionFraud to report the crime and get a Crime Reference Number
- If you have made any payment with your credit card contact your credit card provider’s fraud department
- If you paid by debit card, contact your bank
- If you’re worried about identity fraud and would like to protect your identity contact CIFAS
Reassura is dedicated to helping raise awareness of scams and fraud and the impact they have on their victims. Reassura’s team of specialist anti-fraud advisors are on-hand to offer advice designed to help individuals make better informed decisions and avoid the unpleasant consequences of becoming a victim. For further information visit: https://reassura.com or call 0800 888 6400.