November 19, 2021
Shop savvy this Black Friday: Stop, challenge, and protect
In the lead up to Black Friday and Christmas, many of us are on the hunt for a bargain, however this represents an opportunity for criminals looking to exploit and trick shoppers. In the UK, Black Friday is now the peak pre-Christmas online sales day, making it a major target for criminals.
Ensuring that we shop savvy this Black Friday is important to protect against scammers and fraudsters. We encourage everyone take a moment and take these three simple steps, as described by the Take Five campaign, to stay safe from falling prey to scammers
The campaign encourages shoppers to:
- Stop: Take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or personal information.
- Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse of ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
- Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.
The pandemic has seen many of us shopping online more frequently, some of us for the first time. Criminals take advantage of the rise in consumers browsing and shopping in this way. Popular auction sites and apps, online marketplaces, and social media channels are all used by criminals to advertise goods on sale at ‘too good to be true’ prices for items that don’t exist.
Fraudsters use images taken from genuine sellers to convince shoppers they’re the real deal. They also clone or copy popular shopping sites to make us think we are shopping on the genuine website. Always check web site addresses carefully. Scammers alter the spelling or make small changes to website addresses to trick people. They also send you fake receipts and invoices that appear to be from the payment provider or ask for deposits for pets or products which don’t exist.
Recent intelligence from the banking and finance industry shows a particular threat around theatre tickets, e-scooters, and second-hand vehicles. Whichever gift you might be seeking a deal on, it’s likely fraudsters are looking to exploit it – so Take Five is calling on all consumers to ‘shop savvy’.
Gareth Elliott, Head of Policy and Communications at Mobile UK says:
“Protecting customers from fraudulent scams is a top priority for all mobile phone operators. We are pleased to be working with Take Five to help customers shop savvy this Black Friday. We encourage all shoppers to remain vigilant by using the Stop, Challenge, Protect steps and to report any suspicious activity on their mobile to 7726 or Action Fraud.”
Tony Blake, Former Police Officer and Take Five Fraud Expert says,
“Shop savvy this Black Friday and stay alert to online scams – so you don’t get more than you bargained for. Before you part with your money take a moment to stop and think– if a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is. Protect yourself by using the secure payment method recommended by reputable online retailers and auction sites and read reviews to check websites and sellers are genuine.”
1/. Take Five is a national campaign which offers straightforward, impartial advice to help prevent scams and fraud. Find out more about how to protect yourself and your money here: https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/
2/. You can forward any suspicious text message, including phone number or company name, to 7726 on your mobile. It will not cost you anything.
3/. More details about Mobile UK, fraud, and advice to protect mobile users can be found at https://www.mobileuk.org/advice-for-consumers
- Twitter: twitter.com/TakeFive
- Facebook: facebook.com/TakeFiveStopFraud
- Instagram: instagram.com/takefivetostopfraud
About Building Mobile Britain
Building Mobile Britain is a campaign created by Mobile UK seeking to work with national and local government, as well as interested industry groups to overcome the challenges we face with expanding the existing mobile networks, while also developing innovative services for customers.
See here for further information - or #BuildingMobileBritain
Head of Policy and Communications
Tel: 07887 911 076