Protect yourself while shopping this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Criminals work year-round but Black Friday sales are one of their favourite times of the year to trick people into purchasing things that subsequently turn out not to exist. They know that customers can be especially vulnerable in the heat of the moment when trying to grab a bargain. Criminals use techniques such as spoofed websites, fake adverts listed on auction sites or social media, and phishing emails to trick customers into parting with their money. They will often request that the payment be made through bank transfer prior to delivery, to seal the deal and send fake e-receipts or confirmation emails using the logo and branding of trusted organisations to convince you they’re genuine.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, watch out for the tricks used by criminals to try and scam you – and think before making purchases.
Top tips to avoid being scammed this Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
- Pause and take a breath – Whilst it’s easy to get caught up in the madness of Black Friday, it’s important to pause, think, and ask if the deal is too good to be true?
- Remember – If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.
- Are you being told you only have a limited time to respond? Criminals often use tactics like urgency and scarcity to make you respond quickly as you are afraid of missing out on a good deal.
- Do your research – Take a couple of minutes to verify whether the seller is legitimate.
- Do a background search on the seller’s name and read any reviews.
- You can also put the name into Companies House to confirm that it is a legitimate company with a registered address.
- Go to the actual website, do not click on a link – Go to the website you want to use by using an app or typing in the website address. Never follow a link you are sent in an email or text as this could be fraudulent.
- Get a second opinion –If you are unsure, speak to someone you trust for a second opinion, whether it’s a friend, family member, or your bank.
Scams can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via the Action Fraud website.