How to stay safe online during Black Friday

by Vicky Brien

According to the IMRG, over £7 billion pounds will be spent this weekend, with £2.5 billion of that spent on Black Friday alone.

The bonanza will be boosted by online auction sites, with many companies already launching their Black Friday deals.

Online Shopping

However David Pope, Marketing Director of HooYu warns:

“If legitimate e-retailers are going to be busy, so will fraudsters. If you’re buying from the public or from small businesses, we urge you check out their validity before parting with your hard earned cash. One way to do this is to visit HooYu to see what you can find out about the person or company you’re buying from.”

Goods bought in charity shops are often re-sold on online auction sites. 2013 saw a flood of donated goods to charities, with a big clear out of electrical goods. About 60,000 tonnes of TVs, washing machines, fridges and other home gadgets, worth about £20m, were discarded, given to charity outlets, or sold on online auction sites such as eBay; double the amount in a typical month.

“With a wealth of second-hand stock available there are great bargains to be had online, but with every private online transaction involving lucrative white goods, there is always the risk of being ripped off,” says Mr Pope.  “In these circumstances it’s important to make sure you know who you’re buying from.” 

Here at HooYu, our aim is to protect consumers from online fraud. During Black Friday weekend, follow our top tips on how to stay safe online and avoid the fraudsters.

- Look out for unsafe websites. Before buying something online, make sure the website includes HTTPS in the browser and that you clearly see a padlock. The S in HTTPS  stands for secure. Always double check the URL’s.

- If you’re transacting with an individual, verify a seller’s name and address with a HooYu check. Our ID verification check will instantly confirm the sellers ID and flag if you’re dealing with a fraudster.

- Do not transfer money to an individual’s account before receiving goods. It might sound like an obvious one, but many people often get caught out here. A credit card can also offer better fraud protection.

- Be aware of unfamiliar sites. In 2016 the Financial Fraud Action UK reported that 31% of shoppers put themselves at risk when chasing bargains online. Shopping through unfamiliar sites plays a huge factor in this. If you’ve never heard of the site before, do some research online before purchasing with them. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

- Double check all promotional emails. It is the one weekend of the year that our inbox is flooded with promotional emails. Scammers, knowing this, will jump on the bandwagon. Be aware of any companies in the from name that you don’t recognise. Look out for any misspellings or request for your personal information.

Black Friday for many is a great way to bag a bargain. Just be safe online this weekend.

To stay safe this Black Friday, send a HooYu request here.  

Vicky Brien

Senior Marketing Executive