With Black Friday fast-approaching and a host of retailers already releasing sales, Ealing shoppers are being urged to stay safe against online fraud.
As the excitement levels increase for this sale period, which officially starts on 24 November, please do remember to make sure online purchases are done securely.
Online shoppers should be aware that this time of year there is an increase in scams with fraudsters committing millions of cyber-attacks throughout the Black Friday sale period.
Stay safe online during Black Friday
There are a number of ways you can protect your spend, starting with your device/s being protected with the latest security updates including a firewall and anti-virus software.
Making sure you use familiar websites whilst browsing for sale items is crucial and only browsing and buying on secure sites. To know it’s secure, look for the lock sign which appears next to the website address.
Bear in mind that if a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is. Scammers will also use social media and email marketing to try and catch out online shoppers, so it is important to know if the page is verified, meaning it’ll have a blue tick.
Shop with retailers you know about or research them first to ensure they are reputable and reliable and before buying, read the delivery and return policies that should be on the retailer’s website. It should also have information about delivery arrangements and costs.
Councillor Ranjit Dheer, cabinet member for safety, culture and community services, said: “This time of year is a perfect opportunity for residents to make the most of buying their Christmas presents but it is also the ideal time for scammers.
“It is important to remember if you’re participating in the Black Friday sales to use common sense and reduce the risk of falling victim to online crime. Online fraudsters create fake websites to advertise counterfeit goods and services that are often poor quality or are unsafe, or will never be delivered.”