Financial experts from the United Kingdom warned consumers against scams related to online transactions, reported Express. This warning was made in light of the upcoming celebrations and the inevitable holiday rush.
According to the Bank of England, an average family spends £2,500 every month. However, they will spend £800 more during the holiday season. Of these figures, £1 out of £6 spent by consumers is used in online transactions.
The article cited TSB Bank’s research in which it revealed that 86% of customers are comfortable with online shopping. However, a small number of shoppers are aware of what to look for when determining the legitimacy of a website. In fact, only 26% could identify phishing websites.
Ashley Hart, TSB Head of Fraud, warned consumers against fraudsters. He emphasized that during the holidays, these criminals are more likely to post items that do not exist for sale. To determine the legitimacy of the advertisement, Hart told consumers to be vigilant of some signs. This includes seller reviews, product images, and payment methods.
Hart said that buyers should only make money-related transactions with sellers that they know and trust. Product photos grabbed from the internet, poor reviews and external payment options are all red flags when it comes to making online transactions.
In order to avoid these types of sellers, Hart tells consumers to “always use a trusted website, and to stick to their recommended payment process.”
Moreover, doing a simple check can help in protecting buyers from scammers. The expert said that looking for the padlock symbol in the address back is a great first step. Then, checking the domain name helps guarantee online shopping safety.
Other scams that consumers should be wary of include parcel delivery scams, ticket fraud, travel scams, and gift cards. Scammers are known to pretend to be shipping company representatives asking customers to settle payments for their parcel.
Those seeking to see shoes or movies are also advised to get tickets from the ticketing office or trusted platforms instead of third-party sellers. The same is true for slight tickets. The expert suggests going to a reputable travel agent or booking with the airline directly.
For those thinking of giving gift cards, it is important to bear in mind that some scammers sell used cards. These are often discounted and are sold on unofficial platforms. Buyers are warned to buy only from the company that offers the gift card.