Black Friday has grown rapidly year on year, since being introduced to the UK from the US. It has quickly become the biggest shopping event of the year, with huge discounts being offered by most retailers. However, with the popularity of Black Friday comes danger from fraud.
With Black Friday looming, shoppers are getting ready for a day of bargains and sales, but so are fraudsters. They know that online retailers become increasingly busy, so they increase their attacks accordingly. Televisions, laptops, tablets, mobile phones and headphones are common items used in scams.
Who’s most at risk?
Everyone who shops for Black Friday deals is at risk of fraud, but a survey has found that nearly a quarter of 18 to 34-year-olds have fallen for a Black Friday scam in the past 5 years. 24% of this age group admitted that this has happened to them, according to a survey.
Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA UK), also conducted a survey which concluded that people between the ages of 16 and 34 are most at risk, with almost half saying that that they are more likely to take a chance on a Black Friday deal.
Black Friday bargain-hunters lose a shocking £661 on average to scams.
What to look out for
When you’re searching for unmissable deals on Black Friday, keep an eye out for adverts that don’t look quite right. Criminals’ tactics to catch shoppers out often include posting fake adverts on social media offering amazing deals on non-existent products. They also use digital skimming (hacking) to access sensitive information from online shoppers, so if a site is asking for personal information, be sure it can be trusted.
Ross Martin, Barclays head of digital safety, said: “As thousands of items go on sale this Black Friday, it’s crucial that we are all aware of the risks and do not let our guards down, or rush into purchases.
“Using sophisticated techniques, criminals will be preparing to exploit our desperation for this year’s best bargains.
“Make sure that you do your research and carry out the proper safety checks to stay ahead of the scammers.”
Tips to keep safe from the scams
If you’re planning on spending Black Friday looking for deals, keep in mind these tips to make sure you’re not at risk of fraud.
- Be sure to stop and think before you buy. During stressful sale days, people can take significantly less time to purchase items due to fears that the deal will run out.
- If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers try to lure you in with cheap deals on in-demand items.
- Before making a purchase, check the product’s reviews. Watch out for fake ones though, as these are put there to trick you too.
- Keep an eye on your bank balance so that you can spot and report fraudulent transactions quickly.
- If you have concerns about a website or an item, don’t enter your payment details. Always look out for the padlock symbol in the web address to ensure that the website is secure.
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