Black Friday scam warning issued by Barclays as victims lose hundreds of pounds each

New data from Barclays shows that the number of reported purchase scams after Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year rose by 34 per cent, with an average of £1,072 lost to scammers.

This comes as new research from the bank shows that almost nine in 10 (89 per cent) of Brits are relying on Black Friday to do some or all of their Christmas shopping this year.

Around 48 per cent plan to do their shopping online, leaving them more vulnerable to scammers.

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In fact, Barclays data shows that the proportion of scams taking place on tech platforms, such as purchase/actions sites, social media, or dating apps, has increased by 71 per cent since the beginning of 2021.

Consumers are being urged to be on guard for Black Friday scams.Consumers are being urged to be on guard for Black Friday scams.
Consumers are being urged to be on guard for Black Friday scams.

Currently 77 per cent of all scams take place on these platforms, but at the beginning of 2021 it was just 45 per cent.

With the average Brit expected to spend over £200 on shopping during Black Friday this year, Barclays is urging shoppers to take extra care when purchasing things online throughout the sales season.

The Bank’s findings reveal that worryingly, many consumers are changing their normal behaviour on Black Friday when searching for the best deals.

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Almost a third (32 per cent) feel pressured to make a purchase as quickly as possible to make sure they get the best deal.

One in five (19 per cent) said they were more likely to take note of a “too good to be true” deal, and a further 17 per cent admitted to shopping on sites they haven’t heard of before if they have particularly good deals or sales.

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.

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

Barclays is urging buyers to follow these four steps this Black Friday.

It advises customers do their due diligence; view the item in person if possible; get a second opinion from a trusted family member or friend and to be wary of unlikely offers and huge discounts.

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