PCC Mark Shelford for Avon and Somerset is urging people to be extra careful when online shopping for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals this weekend.
The online shopping events are two of the biggest of the year but Mark Shelford, who is the Association of Police and Crime Commissioner’s (APCC) national lead for Economic Cyber Crime, wants everyone to stay safe while finding deals in the run up to Christmas.
PCC Mark said “For those participating in this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals online, should carry out some simple but effective security measures before you get started and prevent criminals using your email account for online shopping. Ensure you have a strong password, using three random words, and turn on the two-step verification process in your settings.
“Check that the retailer is credible before purchasing anything, this could include doing a separate search from the link provided within an advert to reading customer reviews. If after you have completed your diligence, you decide to make a purchase, please ensure you pay securely via a credit card or trusted payment platform. Most credit card providers will help you get your money back if the item is faulty, damaged, or never arrives. Whilst some trusted well known payment platforms provide buyers protection services.”
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) revealed that a massive £15.3million was lost to scams during the festive period last year, with the average loss being £1,000. The NFIB data also showed that the most likely medium for shopping fraud takes place on social media platforms.
If you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.