Black Friday scam victims ‘lose around £660 on average’

Nearly a quarter of 18 to 34-year-olds have fallen for a Black Friday scam in the past five years, a survey has found.

Some 24% of people in this age group admitted it had happened to them, Barclays said.

Bargain-hunters lose an average of £661 each after falling victim to Black Friday scams, with televisions, laptops and tablets, mobile phones and headphones being common items used in frauds.

Criminals’ tactics to catch shoppers out include posting fake adverts on social media offering cut-price deals on non-existent goods, and the “digital skimming” of sensitive information such as card data from online shoppers.

Barclays surveyed 2,000 people across the UK.

The bank’s own data also shows that more than one in 10 (12%) shopping scams result in losses of over £2,000.

Ross Martin, Barclays head of digital safety, said: “As thousands of items go on sale this Black Friday, 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.”

As people gear up for Black Friday on November 29, Barclays has the following tips for shoppers:

1. During stressful sale days, people can take significantly less time to purchase items due to fears that the deal will run out. Be sure to stop and think before you buy.

2. Scammers try to lure you in with cheap deals on in-demand items. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

3. Before making a purchase, check the product’s reviews.

4. Keep an eye on your bank balance so that you can spot and report fraudulent transactions quickly.

5. If you have concerns about a website or an item, do not enter your payment details. Remember, always look out for the padlock symbol in the web address to ensure that the link between you and the website owner is secure.

More tips on how to stay safe are available at barclays.co.uk/digisafe.

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