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Black Friday 2023 – smaller but if anything more dangerous

Black Friday, this week, may be much smaller this year. Research* from PWC, a consultancy, found consumer interest down from 61% in 2022 to 44%. Just 16% say they will ‘definitely buy’ (24% in 2022).

If anything however Black Friday and plausible sibling Cyber Monday could prove even more dangerous for the unwary shopper.

The growing risk of fraud, especially online, is why. PWC expects 68% of spending online this year, though shops will increase their share.

Ruthless criminals

UK Finance** a banking and finance industry association, reported a 57% increase (to 460,537 offences) year on year to March 2023. This was due in part to fuller reporting but that only underlines the scale of the criminal threat. The group’s MD of Economic Crime says: ‘In the first six months of this year ruthless criminals had already stolen more than half a billion pounds from victims through fraud’.

Be careful out there

On BF, CM, all other shopping days till Christmas and beyond, everyone should ‘stop before they shop’. Some basics to remember, especially when you go online:

  • Purchase fraud is very common and often originates on social media. You order, pay but it never arrives.
  • Delivery fraud, the result of fake ‘phishing’ emails or texts. If you’re expecting a delivery it’s easier to fall for fake ‘click to track your package’.
  • Spelling and grammar. Poor spelling and grammar are clear signs of a fake email, advertisement, website or message.
  • Crazy discounts are serious warnings. If it seems too good….(you know the rest).
  • Pressure to purchase. There may be a clock counting down pushing you to enter card details.
Get help or report a scam

Surrey Police have 10 Golden Rules and helpful advice: if you think you’ve uncovered a scam or fallen victim to fraudsters, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Citizens Advice help with scams.

* UK spending for Black Friday anticipated to fall by almost a quarter, PWC, 16/11/23
** UK Finance the body responsible for coordinating activities on fraud prevention in the UK payments industry, and it represents members from retail banks, card payment acquirers in the UK, and credit, debit and charge card issuers.

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