Lloyds Bank issues scam warning as fraudsters ‘primed to cash in’ for rest of year | Personal Finance | Finance
Britons seeking a bargain have been alerted to stay aware of fraudsters who may be on the prowl. It comes as new data from the bank has show the rate of so-called purchase scams increases by close to a third around the time of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Purchase scams happen when someone is tricked into sending money directly to someone by bank transfer in order to buy goods or services.
These services are often advertised on social media or online, but the scam is that they do not exist.
These scams often reel people in with the promise of cut-price goods or deals which seem too good to be true.
So far this year, the overall number of purchase scams has risen by 14 percent.
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The same is likely to be true for Christmas sales, which capture hundreds of thousands of people each festive season.
Liz Ziegler, fraud prevention director at Lloyds Bank, said: “With shoppers even more eager to bag a bargain this Black Friday given the cost of living squeeze, fraudsters will be primed to cash in and trick victims out of their hard-earned cash.
“Online shopping scams come in all shapes and sizes, but the vast majority start with items advertised on social media, where it’s too easy for fraudsters to use fake profiles and advertise items that don’t exist.
“When shopping online, the best way stay safe is to buy from a trusted retailer, and always pay by card for the greatest protection.
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“If you’re unable to do those things, that should be a big red flag that you’re about to get scammed.”
The bank has shared its top tips to stay safe from purchase scams in the hopes of protecting as many people as possible.
Firstly, it urged people to always use their debit or credit card when buying online, as these cards have protections should anything go wrong.
Any offers which appear by email or text should be checked to ensure they are genuine.
In a similar way, Lloyds states people should call the sender to find out if they are real using a number they trust, rather than one in a message, or by visiting a website to check.
Links should never be pressed without checking legitimacy first.
Before buying, especially if the purchase is significant, Lloyds urges individuals to ask questions.
If an item is expensive, the bank recommends offering to pay a deposit.
If a seller cannot provide details about an item, or tries to rush someone into paying then it is probably a scam.