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Black Friday scam warning for shoppers

Written by: Emma Lunn
The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is warning consumers to be aware of scams ahead of the big Christmas shopping days.

Black Friday is on 26 November and Cyber Monday is on 29 November. These days are likely to see major retailers slash prices on selected items.

Last year, total online retail sales in the UK soared from £89bn to a record £130.6bn, according to a United Nations report, fuelled in part by the pandemic lockdowns.

Despite the end of lockdown, it is expected that online spending will remain high in 2021, especially on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

CTSI is warning the public to be conscious of scams during sales events and that sometimes a deal may not be what it’s all cracked up to be. It also warns that some scammers clone legitimate websites in attempts to steal banking details, while other websites may sell counterfeit or unsafe goods.

Katherine Hart, CTSI lead officer, said: “It seems that the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events get bigger every year, and many bargains can be found; however, we all must remain vigilant and practice shopping safety.

“Sometimes sellers raise their prices before a sales period to make it look like a great deal is on offer during the sale. Fortunately, there are websites, such as Camel Camel Camel, which tracks the price history of products on Amazon so you can check if you’re getting a good deal.

“Most seriously, the prospect of scams rears its ugly head, and the Covid-19 pandemic saw an array of different scams target the public while misusing big shopping brands such as Amazon, along with delivery companies like Royal Mail and DPD to cloak their intent.”

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