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Black Friday scams 2022: What to look out for and how to tell if an offer is legitimate

Stay alert: As we head into Black Friday and the festive season, Barclays urges people to take a moment and listen to their instincts when making decisions

Christmas shoppers are being warned to stay on high alert for potential scams ahead of Black Friday on November 25.

The number of reported shopping scams rose by 34% immediately after Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday last year, data from Barclays Bank shows, with an average of £1,072 lost per scammers.

And the bank’s research shows nearly nine in 10 Britons are relying on Black Friday to do some or all of their Christmas shopping this year.

Almost half of Britons plan to shop online, making them more vulnerable to scammers.

Stay alert: As we head into Black Friday and the festive season, Barclays urges people to take a moment and listen to their instincts when making decisions

Stay alert: As we head into Black Friday and the festive season, Barclays urges people to take a moment and listen to their instincts when making decisions

Barclays data shows that the proportion of scams on technology platforms, including auction sites, social media and dating apps, has increased by 71% since the start of 2021.

Currently, more than three-quarters of all scams take place on these platforms, up from less than half at the start of 2021.

With the average Brit expected to spend over £200 on purchases during Black Friday this year, Barclays is urging shoppers to be very careful when shopping online throughout the sale season.

Ross Martin, head of digital security at Barclays, said: “While Black Friday is a great way for Britons to save money ahead of the Christmas season, it’s important to stay alert when shopping. .

“This year more than ever, people will be looking for the best deals, which could lead them directly into the hands of scammers, who will advertise fake deals to lure victims.

“Remember to ignore any pressure put on you, and if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

The bank’s findings also revealed that many shoppers are changing their normal shopping behavior on Black Friday.

About a third feel pressured to make a purchase as soon as possible to ensure they get the best deal.

One in five said they were more likely to take notice of an offer that was “too good to be true”, and a further 17% admitted to shopping on sites they had never heard of before. they had particularly good offers or sales.

Barclays is urging shoppers to take four steps this Black Friday.

First, exercise due diligence by researching and reading reviews to verify if a website and the seller are genuine.

Second, if possible, view the article in person first to make sure it exists, especially if it’s a big purchase, like a smartphone or even a car.

Third, always talk to someone you trust for a second opinion, whether it’s from a friend, family member or your bank.

Finally, many shopping scams offer huge discounts that you wouldn’t normally find at retailers you would normally trust. Remember, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Beware of the British Airways Black Friday scam

Those looking to take a bargain vacation will want to be aware of a specific scam, according to loyalty and rewards website Head for Points.

The website warns that a number of its readers have received WhatsApp messages about an alleged Black Friday giveaway from British Airways in their WhatsApp feeds, forwarded to them by unsuspecting friends.

Fake: An image of the scam message shared by Head for Points

Fake: An image of the scam message shared by Head for Points

BA has confirmed to Head for Points that this is indeed a scam.

The message will likely come from one of your contacts, as scammers tell “winners” that they need to forward the offer to 20 friends in order to clear their prize.

Head for Points warns: ‘There are elements that seem real, although problems with English – ‘2’ instead of ‘two’, the clunky ‘Do you know British Airways? ” question, the strange greeting “Greetings” – would be a flag for most.

‘What IS realistic is the price. Offer 5,000 first class flights to Sydney and no one will believe you. Offer 5,000 economy class flights to Europe during the quiet winter period and that seems perfectly reasonable.

Needless to say, the contest is a bogus free flight promotion designed to harvest personal and financial data.

The phishing attack is the first in what is expected to be a wave of cyberattacks against Britons looking to capitalize on the biggest sales event of the year.

Bob Brinklow, UK Country Director of cybersecurity firm NordVPN, said: ‘With less than two weeks to go, the BA Golden Ticket fraud has broken through cloud cover to become Europe’s first high-profile Black Friday scam. year.

Data collection: BA scam asks users to complete an online questionnaire to get their information

Data collection: BA scam asks users to complete an online questionnaire to get their information

‘This scam – offering the chance to win free plane tickets for taking an online quiz – is a prime example of how criminal gangs will try to exploit the cost of living crisis by dangling irresistible offers in front of hardened Brits.

“It also leverages users’ familiarity not only with BA as a brand, but also with the pop-up quizzes that have become a feature of many web pages, especially news websites.

“As a result, web-surfers may not think twice before clicking on the attached link and then including personal – and valuable – details as part of their ‘sweepstakes entry’.

“Consumers can expect to encounter a steady stream of these Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday scams over the next two weeks.

“It is important to treat any offers or pop-up offers with caution and avoid clicking on any links unless you know the address they lead you to is verified.

“If you are on an unknown web page, do not fill in any personal data unless you know you are dealing with a secure site.”

“Remember, even around Black Friday there is no free lunch.”

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