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5 tips to protect yourself from being a victim of fraud this Christmas

2 min read

Black Friday is coming up again and we will all be frantically seeking out some pre-christmas bargains.  It’s easy to get carried away but remember the old adage ‘If something looks too good to be true then generally it is.’  Here are a few tips from Helen, our Head of Financial Crime, to protect yourself:

1.  Only deal with reputable sellers

When buying online, check out the feedback section for buyer reviews, ask if the seller has a returns policy, do they have a physical address or are they only contactable via phone or email, this may be a red flag?  Be mindful that some products may be counterfeit - top end designer goods are rarely discounted so you may be buying counterfeit goods.

2.  Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails

Fraudsters send out phishing emails which may appear to be from a legitimate online company from which you have previously made a purchase, requesting that you are required to update your payment card details. Check the URL in your web browser.  Fraudsters change an address ever so slightly in the hope that you won’t notice that it isn’t the genuine website e.g. www.pay.pa1.com. If you are in any doubt contact the company direct i.e. not via the link.

3. If you are shopping online on a public/ shared computer – don’t click on ‘remember me’ 

When you have finished making your purchase, log out completely as your card details may be compromised.

4.  Only buy tickets from a venue’s box office, official promoter or a reputable ticket site

Any tickets that are sold via auction sites and social media may not be legitimate.  Never pay for tickets by bank transfer, use your credit card to get additional consumer protection under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

5.  Watch out for hi-viz fraud 

This happens when a fraudster orders expensive mail order goods such as ipads and mobile phones, to be delivered to an unsuspecting victim at their home address.  Shortly after delivery, the fraudster appears at the property requesting the parcel, stating it has been delivered to the wrong address. The fraudster will be wearing a hi-viz jacket to make them look like a legitimate delivery driver. The parcel is not actually returned to the mail order company and the unsuspecting victim is charged for the ‘delivered’ goods.