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Black Friday: TVs revealed as the most commonly scammed Black Friday item with average loss of £661

18 November 2019
  • Black Friday bargain hunters lose an average of £661 each after falling victim to scams
  • Over the last five years, a quarter (24 per cent) of millennials* have fallen victim to a Black Friday scam
  • TVs, laptops and tablets are the most commonly scammed Black Friday items

Bargain hunters lose an average of £661 each after falling victim to Black Friday scams, with younger people the most likely to be targeted by criminals, new figures from Barclays have revealed.

One in four (24 per cent) of millennials have been duped over the past five years after being lured in with the promise of massive discounts during the Black Friday shopping frenzy in November.

Barclays warned shoppers to be on their guard as the bank revealed that the top four most commonly scammed items last year were:

  1. TVs
  2. Laptops and tablets
  3. Mobile phones
  4. Headphones

Shopping scams were the most prevalent bank transfer scams in the first half of 2019, with criminals increasingly using social media to trick customers into revealing their personal information or transferring money.

These scams accounted for 60 per cent of all reported bank transfer scams, worth a total of £27.9 million.[i]

Criminals are deploying a range of tactics to catch shoppers out, including posting fake adverts on social media offering cut price deals on non-existent goods, and the ‘digital skimming’ of sensitive information such as card data from online shoppers. 

Yet, despite the financial risk associated with these scams, more than half of millennials (55 per cent) would not hear alarms bells if faced with a deal that looked ‘too good to be true’ and only a third (31 per cent) would think twice before purchasing an item through a social media advert.

According to Barclays’ own data, 59 per cent of high value shopping scams result in losses of £2000 or more.

So, as shoppers prepare to splash the cash on big deals this Black Friday weekend, Barclays is providing some safety tips to help beat the scammers.

Barclays’ top tips to help protect shoppers:

1.      Think before making a purchase

During stressful shopping sale days, people will take significantly less time to purchase items in fear the deal will run out. Be sure to stop and think before you buy.

2.      Watch out for deals that seem too good to be true

Scammers will always try to lure you in with cheap deals on in-demand items. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

3.      Read the reviews

Before making a purchase, always check the product’s reviews. This will offer good guidance on whether the item, or the website you are buying from, is real or fake.

4.      Stay vigilant

Keep an eye on your bank balance so that you can spot and report fraudulent transactions quickly.  

5.      Don’t ignore your concerns

If you have concerns about a website or an item, do not enter your payment details. Remember, always look out for the padlock symbol in the web address to ensure that the link between you and the website owner is secure. If this symbol is not there, do not continue to payment or enter any of your personal details. 

Ross Martin, Barclays Head of Digital Safety, said:As thousands of items go on sale this Black Friday, it’s crucial that we are all aware of the risks and do not let our guards down, or rush into purchases. Using sophisticated techniques, criminals will be preparing to exploit our desperation for this year’s best bargains. Make sure that you do your research and carry out the proper safety checks to stay ahead of the scammers.”

For more details on how to stay safe, visit barclays.co.uk/digisafe