Expert Cybersecurity Advice for Black Friday and Christmas Sales

Shoppers are warned for Black Friday and online shopping in the lead-up to Christmas after £36 million was lost to online shopping fraud in 2020.


Black Friday Sales

With internet shopping at an all time high in the infamous Black Friday, and across the rest of December in the lead up to Christmas, experts warn against opportunistic fraudsters. In the hunt for the perfect present and a good deal, many could be taken advantage of.

In an analysis from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau by e-commerce security company Specops Software, it was found that certain areas of the UK experienced more internet shopping and online action fraud cases than others since the beginning of 2020.

Volume of Crime

From January to October 2020, the research found that there were an overall 64,070 cases of internet shopping and online auction fraud. During this period, June (7,860 cases) was the worst month, followed by May (7,717 cases). Whilst March saw the least number of cases at 4,685.

From these cases, the accumulative financial loss that victims suffered was a staggering £36,262,000. The highest rate of these were reported by Metropolitan Police (10,926). This was followed by West Midlands Police who reported 3,104 incidents incurring a collective financial loss of £1.4M. The City of London Police reported the lowest sum of cases – just 4 – yet this represented a substantial financial loss of £763,500.

Advice for Shoppers

When taking advantage of Black Friday Deals and other online offers during December, experts have a few best practices which they recommend. As with any online shopping experience, you should always adopt caution with login credentials. They recommend using  a unique password for each online account that you make. Whilst this can be an effort, password manager tools can help you keep track of them all.

They also recommend certain tips for assessing a website’s authenticity. These include looking for things such as normal looking graphics, a green padlock icon in the URL bar and no obvious spelling or grammatical mistakes. Also, where possible, try and enable multi-factor authentication to increase security of transactions. They advise to never use bank transfers to pay for any goods and services online as these offer no protection against fraud.