With more than £1.97bn of sales expected this Black Friday — more than half of which will be spent online — it’s important for online shoppers to be aware of fraud this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Fraudsters can take advantage of people on these busy shopping days, using scam emails, fake ads on social media or internet searches promising heavy discounts to trick people into visiting fake sites and entering their card details. Once they’ve collected this information, they can then use the details to commit fraud.

A survey of more than 1,900 online shoppers, which was carried out as part of the “Take Five” campaign backed by Victim Support, also found that:

  • almost one in five (19%) of online shoppers admit they would click on an unsolicited email if it promised them a good deal
  • more than a third (36%) of consumers admit their shopping habits change when faced with an opportunity to ‘bag a bargain’
  • almost a quarter (24%) admit their FOMO — fear of missing out — on a great deal leads them to let their guard down when it comes to online shopping.

Before you click the “buy” button or make that call…

  • ‘Take Five’ before you buy. If you’re using a retailer for the first time, always take time to research them before you give them any of your details. Be prepared to ask questions before buying.
  • Trust your instincts — if an offer looks too good to believe then there is usually a catch. Be suspicious of prices that are too good to be true — it could be fraud!
  • Be sure you know who you are dealing with. Always access the website you are planning to buy from by typing the address into your web browser, and be wary of clicking on links in unsolicited emails.
  • Look for the padlock symbol in the address bar. It’s a good indication that the retailer is reputable.
  • Only use retailers you trust, for example ones you know or have been recommended to you. If you’re buying an item made by a major brand, you can often find a list of authorised sellers on their official website.

If you do experience fraud or cyber crime, it’s important that you don’t blame yourself. You can contact Victim Support for free and confidential help after crime.

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