Don’t get scammed this Black Friday

With Black Friday fast approaching on Friday November 26th it’s easy to get caught up in the buzz of bargain shopping. Before you get you spend your hard-earned cash check out our handy tips to shopping safely online this Black Friday.

Buster’s Black Friday top shopping tips:  

Plan your purchase. It’s always good to ask, ‘do I really need this?’. It’s nice to bag a bargain, but is it a good deal if it’s an item you don’t need? If you do need to buy something, then shop around and compare prices on other online shops to ensure you are getting the best deal and sign up for newsletters to get access to any early offer news or deals. Always buy from a reputable website and preferably directly from the company’s website. Sites like Trustpilot have reviews of websites where you can see feedback.  

Watch out for scams. The weeks approaching Black Friday is the perfect opportunity for scammers to strike. Watch out for text messages, emails and social media ads masquerading as well-known brands. In the last year there has been a massive surge in ‘missed delivery’ scams amongst others. If you are ordering online be vigilant of your orders and what you are expecting to receive. Check out the latest scams circulating on our latest scams page.

Shop securely. Always shop on a webpage that has an SSL certificate (Secure Lockets Layer). The way to spot this is to check the URL bar at the top of the web browser. The URL should begin with a https:// and have the icon of a locked padlock as this indicates the legitimacy of a website. Any website that stores personal data must have an SSL certificate as this encrypts your data to stop hackers from accessing it.   

Use your credit card or PayPal goods and services. Paying by these methods means extra security and policies for shoppers should something go wrong. Credit card payments for goods £100 and over are protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act and PayPal has buyer protection as part of its policy if an issue arises.  

What is the returns policy? Make sure you can return or exchange the item if you’re not happy. Check the returns policy on the company website to find out your rights relating to purchasing sale items and how to exchange or return. 

Don’t buy a fake. As we know too well with the work done by our sister site SnapDragon, counterfeit products can be highly sophisticated. It’s wise to check where the product is manufactured, if shipping is lengthy or if it’s coming from somewhere unusual as this can indicate something isn’t right.  A super low price could mean the product may not be the real deal. Fake products can pose safety and health risk as they may have not been put through thorough testing and could contain dangerous ingredients or components.

Check the reviews – reviews can be fake, and some reviewers may have been paid or given a free product to write a glowing review. Be wary of the wording, especially if it seems over the top, if the language is suspicious, or if there an unusually high number of good reviews. Treat reviews with caution and be sure to read any bad reviews to get a good overall picture of the product. 

There’s no denying Black Friday is a great opportunity to save some money. If it’ a tech item you are after then don’t forget to also check deals on Cyber Monday on the 29th of November and remember to apply our tips.

Shop safely and check all our handy information to help you stay safe online.