Black Friday – Purchase safely and don’t be left in the dark.

It is growing swiftly every year since being introduced to the UK from the US. It rapidly became the biggest shopping event of the year offering “huge” discounts on all the products you have always wanted. However, of course, with the word ‘deal’, there is still the possibility of ‘fraud’. What can we look out for during this busy period leading up to Christmas?

Impulse and Stress Buying
Buying through impulse or stress is when you do not stop to think about a purchase before making it. During stressful sales seasons, people take significantly less time to purchase items due to fears that they go out of stock or the deal will expire. You must take a step back from the computer, phone or wherever you are about to purchase and think about whether you need that item. Did you go to the store to buy this item? Or are you just becoming victim to good marketing and sales?
Some also use stress buying as a form of crime, sending emails out with a short time restriction at an unbelievable low cost that you have never seen anywhere else. Which in for some parts is correct, you wouldn’t see it that low anywhere else… And why? Because it’s not, this is just a way of getting your card details. A great quote to remember is ‘If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.’

Check Reviews
Before making a purchase; Check reviews on multiple sites. Take the word of mouth reviews as well because these are sometimes more valuable than the ones you can find online. Watch out for fake reviews as these are there to trick you from retailers, these are most likely be below the product on the store’s website.

Numerous businesses have faced court cases after being sued for false reviews, meaning they paid for or wrote their product reviews to increase overall search engine rating.

Website Payment Security
If you are unsure whether a website is genuine or safe to input your card details always remember to look for the padlock symbol next to the website URL (www.), this will ensure the website is secure. Although not giving you 100% safety against fraudulent sales, it will protect you from a significant portion of them because they’re made in a hurry – they do not fulfil all security information when publishing the website.

Email Phishing Scams
It’s estimated 135 million phishing attacks are attempted every day; statistics show phishing scams are up by 300% since Covid-19. A phishing cyberattack is an official-looking email from a provider you may use, usually demanding login details or an overdue invoice requiring payment. To some, it’s an easy spot or common sense; however, to others, it can be quite challenging to know the authenticity of an email. A huge give away for all of these emails are the email address they are sent from, often shown as ‘[Company Name] Billing’ however when you click on that name it reveals the true identity of the sender. The true emails usually look very different to what you would assume the companies email looks like, often being a series of jumbled letters and numbers and a @hotmail.com at the end.

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