Fraud Lead urges public to be extra vigilant ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday
APCC Lead for Fraud Mark Shelford is calling on the public to be extra vigilant when shopping online ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
APCC Fraud Lead and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Avon and Somerset, Mark Shelford, said: “Whilst Black Friday and Cyber Monday presents shoppers with the opportunity to bag deals in the lead up to Christmas, they also present an ideal opportunity for fraudsters to take advantage and scam victims out of thousands of pounds online.
“As a Police and Crime Commissioner my main priority when it comes to fraud is prevention and that is why I want to highlight what to look out for to ensure people are less vulnerable to online scams in the lead up to Christmas.
“Scammers will see this weekend as a perfect opportunity to target people with sophisticated fraudulent emails, offers and sites. Some may advertise offers that seem too good to be true in a bid to attract shoppers into purchasing items off fake sites over reputable sites.
“My advice to the public is to always buy from a reputable retailer and make sure the URL of the website is accurate before making a purchase. With emails, make sure the senders email address is accurate, and if you’re not sure, always go directly to the retailer’s website instead of clicking on a link contained in a marketing email or advert on social media.”
New figures from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) revealed that shoppers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland were scammed out of £15.3m between November 2021 and January 2022, and that the age group most likely to fall victim was 19–25-year-olds.
They also showed that average losses rose year on year. Between 1st November 2020 and 31st January 2021, the average loss per person was £549 including reports with no financial loss, while for the same period last year that figure increased to £775.
Mark continued: “With online shopping being the preferred option for many and with the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis, it is vital now more than ever that the public know how to protect their money online.
“Through our Police and Crime Plans and our work in communities, PCCs are ensuring that vulnerable people of all ages are protected from being targeted online. We do this through raising awareness and educating those in our communities on the signs to watch out for and by working alongside businesses.
“In Avon and Somerset, we are working closely with delivery companies to have prevention messaging printed on their vans. We are also liaising with supermarkets to do the same on their gift cards. This is something we are hoping to roll out nationally so that we can educate and protect as many people as possible.”
Find out more information about the work of our national fraud portfolio here.
More advice on protecting yourself online can be found on the Cyber Fraud website.