Barclays issues warning as online shopping scam could lose you £1,072

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With scammers on the prowl looking for their next victim, it is important to remain alert to avoid being targeted. At no time is this perhaps more true than during festive sales, where millions of Britons each year look for the best deals on a wide range of products.

However, data from Barclays has shown many are falling victim to scams at this time, which could have devastating consequences.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are seen as an ideal hunting ground for con-artists, and the number of reported purchase scams after these events rose by 34 percent last year.

On average, Britons lost £1,072 to scammers, which could create a real problem ahead of the festive season.

Barclays has shared its top tips to help Britons avoid being targeted by scams this Black Friday.

Firstly, individuals are encouraged to do their due diligence when shopping online.

This may involve researching and reading reviews to ensure a website and its seller are genuine.

If a person can do so, it is likely to benefit them to view the item in person before purchasing it.

This is particularly pertinent for those making substantial, big item purchases such as buying a smartphone or even a car.

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A second opinion is also likely to help in the decision-making process, especially if someone is unsure.

Barclays recommends contacting a friend, family member, or one’s bank to get advice.

Finally, the bank warns people to be wary of unlikely offers, as many purchase scams offer huge discounts.

These discounts could be enticing if they would not normally be found at trusted retailers.

However, the offer may be too good to be true, and so it is vital to remain vigilant. 

Worryingly, Barclays also found many consumers are changing their usual behaviour when searching for the best deals.

Almost a third of those asked said they felt pressured to make a purchase as quickly as possible to make sure they get the best deal.

A total of 17 percent admitted to shopping on websites they haven’t heard of before if they have particularly good deals or sales.


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Ross Martin, Head of Digital Safety at Barclays, said: “Whilst Black Friday is a great way for Brits to save money ahead of the Christmas season, it is important to stay vigilant when making purchases.

“This year more than ever, people will be looking for the best bargains, which could lead them right into the hands of scammers, who will be advertising false offers to lure victims in.

“Just remember – ignore any pressure that is being put on you – and if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

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