14 November 2023
5 min read
Online shopping can be quick and convenient, and more of us are ordering online than ever before. But it's also more important than ever to be aware of the dangers.
Some of your favourite apps and websites are particularly popular ways for scammers to advertise fake products and services - we often see cases relating to TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Gumtree and especially Facebook Marketplace.
Cases of online shopping scams increase around the festive season and the Black Friday and end-of-year sales. Be extra wary of deals that seem too good to be true around this time.
Call 159 – this service quickly redirects you to your bank, so you can report scams and suspected fraudulent contact.
Always take your time and don't let anyone rush you. Scammers take advantage of shopping season, when they know you may be in a rush to buy presents, or you may really want to get (what seems like) a great deal before the opportunity has passed.
Here are some more ways to protect yourself.
Shopping online is convenient, but not being face-to-face with a seller and actually seeing the product in person can make it harder to spot a scam and know if a seller is genuine. But you can do some research to get a better idea.
Things to search online for include:
It's important to check for reviews which are hosted on trusted review websites, such as Trustpilot, or on the seller's profile on the marketplace (such as on Facebook Marketplace or Etsy).
Signs to look out for include:
Scammers prefer bank transfers because they can easily move the money again before you realise anything's wrong. Unfortunately, this means you may not get your money back if it's a scam.
Where possible, you should:
Criminals carefully research which products are most highly sought after, and which price could tempt you to take a risk. Our customers' stories can help you understand what one of these scams might look like.
More online shopping means more deliveries. And keeping track of all your deliveries can be tricky. Scammers are taking full advantage of this by trying to trick you with convincing fake messages about deliveries.
Scammers are calling our customers pretending to be calling from The Co-operative Bank. These scam calls are more common around the festive period.
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