Force urges caution when seeking out deals over Black Friday and Cyber Monday
As shoppers look for bargains over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Devon & Cornwall Police is urging people to take care and consider whether deals are too good to be true.
In the run up to Christmas, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become two of the biggest shopping days of the year, with many retailers offering discounts.
While shoppers can save money during these shopping days, it also gives potential criminals the opportunity to scam victims with fraudulent offers.
Black Friday, which originated in the United States of America, is the day after Thanksgiving, which this year is Friday 26 November 2021. It has grown into an international event for consumers to buy goods at reduced prices ahead of the busy Christmas shopping period.
Cyber Monday falls on Monday 29 November 2021, which is the Monday after Black Friday and many online retailers use it to entice consumers with a variety of deals.
Unfortunately, scammers will often use these events to create fake offers with the intention of fraud.
Neil Blackhurst, Senior Fraud Investigator at Devon & Cornwall Police, said: “We all love getting a deal, but sometimes they can be too good to be true.
“Being targeted by fraudsters can be crushing at any time, but especially in the run up to Christmas. Unfortunately, there are people who will use the goodwill of the season to target people when their defences might be a little lower.
“Don’t get caught out and take five to stop, challenge and protect. Take a moment to think before parting with money or information. Challenge, reject, refuse or ignore requests that you think could be fake – only criminals will try to rush or panic you. And contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and parted with money, and please report it to Action Fraud by visiting actionfraud.police.uk or calling 0300 123 2040.”
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “Unfortunately cyber crime remains a real threat to residents of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, scams are getting increasingly sophisticated and the impact on victims can be devastating.
“My message to people is that if an offer seems too good to be true, or if you are being pressured to make a quick decision, then step back and seek advice from Action Fraud.
“By reporting suspicious approaches or crimes you can be part of a solution that prevents others from falling victim to these callous thieves.”