Warning over eight most scammed items ahead of Black Friday

More than 70 per cent of shopping scams started on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram

Maira Butt
Wednesday 22 November 2023 04:28
The Meaning Behind Black Friday

Bargain seekers have been warned to watch out for Black Friday fraudsters, as analysis reveals some of the most scammed items ahead of the sales this week.

Online shopping scams soared by nearly one fifth (18 per cent) over the same period of November and December last year, a report by Lloyds Bank found.

The rise in online shopping, particularly after the pandemic, has also led to a surge in criminals tricking people into paying for goods and services that do not exist.

The report suggests that more than 70 per cent of shopping scams started on Meta-owned platforms such as Facebook marketplace and Instagram.

People aged between 25 and 35 are most likely to fall victim, analysis found.

Victims are often lured by cut-price or hard-to-find items and then asked to make an online payment via bank transfer, which affords less consumer protection.

Some items are more popular with scammers than others, with Apple iPhones, Nike trainers and Lego toys topping the list.

The full list of most popular items listed in fake ads or posts include:

  • Apply iPhones
  • Dyson Airwraps
  • Nike trainers
  • Ugg boots
  • PlayStation 5
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Lego sets
  • Drones

Liz Ziegler, fraud prevention officer at Lloyds, said: “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 list 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. If you’re unable to do those things, that should be a big red flag that you’re about to get scammed.”

A separate Lloyds Bank poll of more than 2,000 UK adults conducted by YouGov found nearly half (49 per cent) said they do not trust social media companies to keep them safe from scams when shopping on those platforms.

However, 70 per cent of people believe this role should sit with social media firms, with only 14 per cent stating it’s the responsibility of the person making the purchase. This could explain why almost six in 10 (58 per cent) people say they never buy anything from social media.

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