Beware of Scams on Black Friday

29th November 2019 Media Law

Black Friday is a relatively new calendar date but has become as entrenched in the diary as your favourite furniture shop’s Boxing Day sale!

While millions of consumers will be gearing up to save money, scammers will be gearing up to rip you off.

According to the ‘Crime in England and Wales: year ending June 2019’ survey which was published last month by the Office of National Statistics, bank and credit account fraud increased by 17% and other fraud increased by 183%.

Here are some scams to be aware of this Black Friday.

Sim Swap

‘Tis the season for a fraudster to have full control of your phone - but it certainly won’t make you jolly.

If you’ve never heard of a sim swap scam, you’ll be shocked when you find out that a scammer can contact your mobile phone provider, pretend to be you and request that your phone account is transferred to the sim card that the scammer has obtained.

Once that happens the scammer will have full functionality of your phone account allowing scammers to access your bank account, social media accounts and intercept any text messages or emails that are being sent for authentication purposes.

For more information watch my video here.

Delivery Scam

If your house is anything like mine, multiple parcels arrive each week to the extent that I have considered buying a ‘Goods In’ sign for my front door reminiscent of a warehouse.

On a serious note, beware of scam deliveries this Black Friday. The first you will know of this scam is when a delivery driver knocks on your door to deliver a high value parcel often a mobile phone or other high end electrical gadget.

The parcel will have your name on it so why wouldn’t you sign for it? Victims often think that the parcel is a gift or another parcel that has been ordered and simply forgotten about. You wouldn’t be expected to know what is inside until it is opened. It is this understandable behaviour that the scammers prey on.

A few minutes after the legitimate delivery driver has delivered the parcel, a scammer will knock at your door and explain the parcel was delivered in error and could they have it back. Once you hand it back, the scammer has a potentially expensive prize - often at your expense.

Authorised Push Payment Scam

According to the consumer website Which, £1.2 billion was lost to fraud in 2018. The Treasury Select Committee report into Economic Crime says that over £600 million was stolen from consumers in the first half of 2019 alone.

An authorised push payment scam (APP) is when a consumer is tricked into transferring money to a scammer.

There are many forms that an APP can take from someone phoning to pretend to be from your bank to a targeted text message or email such as a fake invoice or a link to a fake website.

If you’ve been a victim, the best thing to do is inform the bank straight away. They may be able to help. A number of banks have signed up to the voluntary code of practice for APPs.

Takeaway Scam

A scammer will have had access to your account to order takeaway food. The scammer will place an order and will wait somewhere near to your property. When the delivery driver arrives, the scammer will explain to the delivery driver that the order is for them and dinner may well be on you.

It may be that you are unaware that the scam has even happened until the funds for the takeaway are deducted from the bank account. Worryingly, if you live in a household that regularly orders takeaway, you may never know.

Not only will the scammer have had dinner on you, the scammer knows where you live and has other personal data.

Beware of the scammers and I hope you bag some Black Friday bargains.

If you’ve been the victim of a scam, talk to JMW Solicitors to see if we can help you claim compensation on a ‘no win no fee’ basis. Call us today on 0845 872 6666.

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Dominic Walker is a Solicitor located in Manchesterin our Media Law department

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