Black Friday bargain? Or cruel online scam?
If you've been anywhere near the internet recently, you'll know that 'Black Friday' is fast approaching.
In fact, it's highly likely your email inbox has already been flooded with 'unbelievable offers'.
For sure there are bargains to be had - but there are also risks. And although many of us are now confident and comfortable shopping online, it's all too easy to fall for a scam.
So before you click that tempting link, just remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
From past experience, products often involved in online fraud are electronics, clothing and tickets for flights and events. So be extra vigilant when shopping for those.
Common complaints include buyers receiving goods late, or not at all, or receiving goods that are either less valuable than those advertised or significantly different from the original description.
There are also other scams associated with online shopping. Here's a particularly plausible-sounding one that often does the rounds:
You receive a text about a missed package. Nothing unusual about that - you're expecting lots of deliveries at this time of year...
The text has a link that asks for payment to re-arrange delivery. Annoying, but it's only a few pounds, so fair enough...
It's a scam.
If you make this payment, you'll receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from your bank, informing you about suspicious transactions. You'll be told your account may have been compromised, and you'll be instructed to transfer your money to an alternative 'secure' account in order to prevent further losses...
And that's it - your money's gone.
We've said it before and we'll say it again - your bank (or the police for that matter) will NEVER ask you to move money to another account.
Let's all stay safe online, and avoid giving cyber-criminals an undeserved early Christmas present.
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