Shoppers warned of an increase in Black Friday and Christmas fraud
Shoppers and businesses warned of a wave of fraud ahead of Black Friday and Christmas: we reveal how to protect yourself
- Buyers and businesses have been warned about fraud this Black Friday
- Credit card application fraud likely to peak over time, says Experian
- We reveal the best tips to protect yourself from identity theft
Shoppers and businesses are being warned to expect a wave of fraudulent activity ahead of Black Friday and the rush of Christmas shopping.
According to Experian, which analyzed data from the National Hunter Fraud Prevention Service, credit card application fraud is likely to peak over the period, with criminals looking to take advantage of an increase in genuine applications to access credit using stolen personal data. .
It found that the credit card application fraud rate has risen 43 percent in the past three months — a trend that is expected to continue, reaching a peak in November and December.
Shoppers and businesses are urged to be wary of fraud ahead of Black Friday this week
The percentage increased by 107 percent between December 2016 and December 2020, highlighting the increasing severity of the problem.
Eduardo Castro, Experian’s Head of Identity and Fraud, said: “The UK is facing a serious wave of fraud which shows no signs of abating and it is very likely as many of us go online to do Christmas shopping that the trend will become even more apparent in the coming month.
“The risk is for both businesses and consumers. With such a volume of digital transactions being carried out, it is critical that organizations can confirm as smoothly as possible that their customers’ information is legitimate, while consumers must do everything they can to protect their information online.”
Separate research from Compare the Market, which surveyed 2,000 adults, claimed that millions of people have been victims of financial fraud in the past 12 months.
About 9 percent of respondents had payment methods compromised by fraudsters in the past year, amounting to nearly 5 million people if the numbers are extrapolated to the adult population nationwide.
In 90 percent of cases, money was stolen via online fraud, costing victims an average of £608 each. The theft left 50 percent in debt.
Online payments accounted for 29 percent of frauds — up from 21% two years ago — while 19 percent were contactless payment scams and 17 percent were phishing.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday approaching, the comparison site is urging consumers to stay vigilant online.
James Padmore, head of money at Compare the Market, said: “Despite the temptation of great deals and discounts, it’s worth remembering that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
“Some fraudsters are smart about how they can make scams and websites look real, and with online fraud on the rise, it’s vital that people stay vigilant.”
Credit card application fraud is likely to peak during the Black Friday and Christmas period
How to protect against ID fraud
Experian collected tips this year on how people can protect themselves from identity theft.
• Don’t share too much personal information on social media, such as mother’s maiden name, home address or when you are away. It is important to ensure that your privacy settings are up to date on all platforms.
• If you move house, you must always re-register on the electoral roll as soon as possible. This way you can be sure that your data is no longer registered at your old address. It’s a good idea to set up email redirection for a while as well.
• Make sure you have an individual unique password for every online account you have. This means that fraudsters are less likely to gain access to multiple accounts.
• Make sure your home Wi-Fi network has a strong password, never log into password protected accounts on unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, and make sure you have up-to-date antivirus software
• When you receive emails or text messages, always be careful with attachments, links or phone numbers. When in doubt, visit the company’s website and contact them directly.
• Check your credit report, free of charge, at least annually to look for anything suspicious. Displays any credit applications or new accounts. You can also check your credit score to look for significant changes.