Black Friday scams are set to cost shoppers tens of millions this week as the UK prepares for the busiest ever online holiday shopping festival.
Numerous consumer groups have warned shoppers to be extra vigilant during this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping events as the number of online fraudsters hoping to cash in on the online shopping boom continues to rise.
According to data from Barclays shoppers who fall victim to an online scam this week will lose and average of £735.
It added that customers should be extra careful when shopping for electronics, clothing, smartphones and trainers, which were the most commonly scammed online items.
Barclays data also revealed that the most common type of scam, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of all bank transfer scams, involved fraudsters posting fake advertisements at low prices which trick shoppers into sharing their personal information.
Similar data from UK Finance warned that these harvesting scams often see scammers target shoppers via email or through social media platforms, posing as legitimate businesses.
These scams are understood to have cost shoppers a total of £27.1 million last year.
In order to avoid falling victim to these “sophisticated techniques” Barclays has warned customers to avoid making impulse buys without doing proper research, protect your personal details and ensure you read trusted reviews about a product or company.
“Due to many shops being closed, this year’s Black Friday may look a bit different as many of us will look to bag a bargain online,” Barclays head of digital safety Ross Martin said.
“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”