Warning issued to Black Friday shoppers as fraud figures in South Yorkshire are released

Black Friday shoppers in South Yorkshire have been warned to be alert to scams.

Friday, 27th November 2020, 7:59 am

With internet shopping set to surge today and throughout December as people shop online for Christmas presents, consumers are being urged to be on their guard against opportunistic fraudsters looking to exploit them as they hunt for bargains online.

Specops Software analysed data from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and found that South Yorkshire Police received reports of 1,358 cases of internet shopping and online auction fraud between January and October 2020, with victims losing a total of £664,600 between them.

Overall, across the country, there were 64,070 cases of internet shopping and online auction fraud over the same period, with losses totalling more than £36 million.

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Black Friday shoppers have been urged to be on their guard against potential scams (Photo: Getty)

Specops Software said: “Be cautious with login credentials. If you create an online account with a retailer, don’t write down the login credentials or share them with others, but do consider using a reputable password manager tool to help you store and remember your details. Likewise, even though it can be a pain, try using a unique password for each retailer you make an online account with.

“Learn to self-audit websites. If you are unsure about the authenticity of a retailer’s website, then ask yourself these simple questions: Is there a green padlock icon in the URL bar? Do the graphics and images on the website look ‘normal’? Are there obvious spelling or grammatical mistakes on different pages of the website? If the answer is not favourable to one or more of these questions, then do not make a purchase as the website is likely to be untrustworthy.

“Avoid using bank transfers. Do not pay for goods and services online using bank transfers. Bank transfers offer no protection if you become a victim to internet shopping and online auction fraud.

“Enable multi-factor authentication. A lot of established online retailers now offer multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication is where an individual must provide at least two pieces of evidence to prove their identity. If an online retailer you have an account with offers this service, then opt in for an added level of security and peace of mind.”