Shopping > Guides

Spotting and dodging online scams this Black Friday

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
Nov 24, 2016

Beware the online scam.  

Scammers love buying excitement because they know that for many people, the hunger to grab a bargain will overcome any cyber-sense.

Online shopping is growing every year and with it cyber-scamming. 

Here are tips to keep you safe…

1) Don’t shop from sites that you’ve never heard of without checking they show the company’s physical address, the company registration number, a phone number that someone actually answers and email address and names of people behind the business. It’s also essential to look for reviews and comments on line. 

2) Only ever use your credit cards or delayed payment services like PayPal to shop, as these offer a high degree of protection.

3) Make sure you are connected securely and that the site’s address has an S on the end of the first part of its address (https:// ).

4) Make sure your browser is the latest version – this will ensure you have all the latest security measures installed.

5) Use a unique password for each site you shop at and be careful about what you opt in to.

For example, does it say tick the box TO receive a million marketing emails, or does it say tick the box NOT to receive a million emails?

6) Make sure you opt for no third party contacts or your address will be passed to others and you’ll get a whole raft of emails.

7) Don’t trust reviews on the site you’re thinking of buying from. They may be made up, they may be selected with all the negative ones deleted. Look away from the site at platforms like A Spokesman Said for an honest appraisal.

8) Don’t give financial details over open or public WiFi connections.

9) After shopping online, especially from a site for the first time, keep a careful eye on your credit card account activities, looking out for any unauthorised transactions.

If you do fall foul of a scam, use our guide on how to get your money back

Newsletter silhouette

GET OUR NEWSLETTER

Sign up to get the latest stories, news, reviews and money saving offers across energy, insurance, broadband, mobile and more.