THE ROYAL Bank of Scotland is predicting a 40% increase in the number of reported scams this Black Friday compared to previous years as online shopping fraud rapidly rises.
The company last year processed over one million transactions per hour and are expecting this year to be a lot more.
The bank successfully flagged and prevented 39,181 fraudulent transactions, preventing a loss of £11.64m to credit and debit card holders.
During lockdown, criminals have taken advantage of more customers shopping online. The most popular fake ads involve the sale of designer clothes, trainers and iPhone 12s.
Often goods are offered for sale but are never delivered, are of poor quality, or are not what was ordered.
Some of the most recent scams being reported by Royal Bank customers are for purchases through Facebook Marketplace.
Royal Bank of Scotland has suggested to avoid criminals from ruining Christmas to buy from trusted retailers – appearing on Google doesn’t mean a seller is trusted as some websites can take your card details and never send the order.
Avoid paying directly into a sellers bank account when buying goods from like Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or GumTree and follow the fraud advice on the site.
Royal Bank has provided three tips to help prevent a criminal stealing your Christmas:
The safest method when it comes to online shopping is paying by card becasue if your goods don’t arrive the bank can always help get your money back.
Jason Costain, Head of Fraud Prevention at Royal Bank said:
“A record number of customers are doing their Christmas shopping online this year and we’ve seen evidence that criminals are getting ready for a bumper Christmas too.
“Beware of fake adverts on the internet. Just because a company appears at the top of an internet search result, or advertises on social media, it does not mean they are genuine.
“Our customers tell us that they are seeing fake ads popping up within Google search results or being advertised on Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, GumTree, and eBay.”