Police Issue Warning Ahead Of Black Friday

How To Have A Good 'Black Friday'

Woman caught out by online scam. Credit: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock.com

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales attracting shoppers worldwide, the National Police have issued a crucial guide to prevent scams.

On Tuesday, November 21, experts from the Cybercrime Unit of the National Police highlighted the increasing risk of fraud during these high-volume shopping days.

Social media, a common platform for such scams, often lures buyers with non-existent deals or redirects them to bogus websites. The police have put together a 10-point checklist to make sure buyers stay safe while looking for bargains.

10 Tips For A Good ‘Black Friday’

  • Email And Social Media Traps: Be cautious of promotions via email or social media. They might contain links to fraudulent websites aiming to steal personal and financial details. Avoid clicking these links and search for the offer using your browser instead.
  • Beware of Unreal Discounts: Scammers often lure shoppers with hefty discounts on popular items, leading them to fake e-commerce websites that vanish after taking your money.
  • Avoid ‘Typosquatting’: This occurs when a user accidentally visits a fraudulent website with a URL similar to a legitimate one. Always double-check the spelling in the URL.
  • ‘QRishing’ Risks: Scammers can manipulate QR codes to infect your device with malware or redirect you to a scam site. Be vigilant before scanning any QR code.
  • Fake Delivery Messages: Ignore links in SMS or emails from supposed delivery services. These could be phishing attempts.
  • Check Website Quality: Look for signs of a dubious website, such as poor images, bad translations, spelling errors, or missing company details like a tax address.
  • Quality over Discount: Ensure that the quality of the product you have chosen is the same despite the discount.
  • Secure Website Indicators: A lock icon and ‘https’ in the URL suggest a secure website.
  • Be Wary of Payment Requests: If a website seems suspicious and solely asks for your card or bank details, it’s a red flag.
  • Post-Fraud Actions: If you’ve fallen victim to fraud, change your passwords, cancel your cards, contact your bank, and report to the National Police.

The National Police’s checklist serves as a valuable resource, emphasising the importance of staying alert during peak shopping times. Protect yourself and enjoy a safe shopping experience this Black Friday.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.