16 Nov 2018
Bargain hunters beware. Careless shoppers this Black Friday and Cyber Monday could be in line for big losses, according to new data from Barclays.
Scottish people are at risk, with Barclays research showing that two fifths (41 per cent) have saved up throughout the year for the event, and almost one quarter (23 per cent) plan to purchase high cost electrical items such as a TV or laptop. This is despite 41 per cent stating that they have concerns about being scammed on the day.
In doing so, Scottish shoppers of all ages are overlooking the scam warning signs – more than half (56 per cent) would make a purchase with a company that doesn’t request delivery details, and nearly two-thirds (60 per cent) would be comfortable using an unfamiliar website.
Throughout the year, Scottish shoppers take on average 3 hours to buy a piece of clothing. On Black Friday, a third (33 per cent) take under five minutes to splash the cash.
So, while the big events in the shopping calendar offer a great chance for savvy shoppers to get their hands on a great deal, it also presents scammers with a golden opportunity to make a quick buck. Shopping scams, where the victim pays in advance for goods never received, make up a staggering 78 per cent of all reported scam cases in the UK.
Across the country, almost two-thirds (59 per cent) of high value shopping scams result in a loss of £2000 or more, equating to more than the UK’s average monthly salary, with one in five (21 per cent) resulting in losses of more than £5000
To help Brits stay vigilant, Barclays is calling on the half of (48 per cent) Scottish shoppers planning to splash the cash this Black Friday and Cyber Monday to take greater care when making their purchases.
Barclays top tips for staying safe this Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
Think before making a purchase
On shopping sale days, people take significantly less time to purchase household items such as a sofa – on average 27 hours is spent making this decision on non-sale days, with one in 10 taking less than five minutes on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. This is also true for fridges and dishwashers, as well as televisions and laptops. Be sure to stop and think before you buy – is the website the real deal?
Don’t ignore your concerns
Almost half of Scots (48 per cent) are planning to make purchases this Black Friday even though 41 per cent have concerns about being scammed on the day - do not click on any links, or open any attachments in emails from people you don’t recognise
Learn from previous mistakes
Shoppers need to be vigilant in learning from mistakes. Over half of Scots (56 per cent) would still make a purchase at a shop they were previously scammed at. Never give out your PIN or online banking password – legitimate websites won’t ask for it
Watch out for deals that are too good to be true
Scottish shoppers on average expect to spend nearly £300 this Black Friday, with some committing to spending up to £750 – quite a sum when you think that could cover a month’s rent or a holiday to Spain. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is
Don’t expect to spend everything you have saved in advance
41 per cent of Scottish people put money aside in advance of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Keep an eye on your bank balance so that you can spot and report fraudulent transactions quickly
Speaking about the results, psychologist Dr Lynda Shaw explains the psychology behind our fervent need to bag a bargain: “The fear of missing out, of experiencing regret because you’ve missed a bargain, of someone else getting that sought-after item: this all feeds an irrational buying frenzy that can lead to mistakes. Barclays data shows that ahead of this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shoppers’ buying behaviour can lead to a high risk of being scammed. Rather than a shopper who is careless and loses money, be a shopper who feels pleased about money saved for goods that have been carefully purchased."
Jodie Gilbert / Ross Martin, Barclays Head of Digital Safety, said: “As thousands of us chase a deal on that new laptop this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, criminals are getting ready to jump on anyone who lets their guard down. My advice for Black Friday shoppers: beat the fraudsters by staying alert - warning bells should start to ring for those deals which appear too good to be true.
For more details on how to stay safe, visit www.barclays.co.uk/security
Barclays backs Take Five to Stop Fraud – a national campaign from UK Finance and Government offering straight-forward advice to help everyone prevent financial fraud.
 Office for National Statistics (ONS), October 2018