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A long running tradition in the US, Black Friday has been slowly increasing in popularity in the UK over the last couple of years. The shopping extravaganza was arguably at its biggest last year, with UK shoppers spending a staggering £800 million just on the day.

According to Voucherbox, it’s expected to be even more popular this year with £1.07 billion predicted to be spent online – £614,000 of this however, is predicted to fall into the hands of fraudsters. Make sure you’re not caught out by fraudsters taking advantage of this shopping bonanza by following our guide.

Don’t fall for it

With more online shopping expected this year than ever before, it’s anticipated that fraudsters could pose a real threat. Research conducted on last year’s Christmas shopping season found that out of the £21.6 billion spent over the period, 0.05 per cent was taken by criminals – amounting to £12.4 million.

With Black Friday in mind, common tricks fraudsters use include creating fake retailer websites, fake listings on genuine websites, fake or insecure payment systems, email and text message scams outlining false retail offers and trying to entice people to transfer money online for purchases.

To make sure you’re not drawn in by any of these techniques, remember the following safety tips:

• When clicking on a website you’ve never seen before, look at it closely. Any spelling mistakes or poor image quality may indicate a website that’s been quickly put together – so click off.

• Beware of clicking links on any unsolicited email - they could take you to a scam site.

• When clicking onto a website – whether that’s from an email or somewhere else online – check that the URL is from the recognised retailer’s website. For example, if you want to click onto the URL shouldn’t be

• Look out for HTTPS in the URL of the payment page, as this indicates a secure page. If it simply starts with HTTP, don’t enter any financial details.

• Don’t make money transfers to people you don’t know, use online secure payment systems like PayPal instead. PayPal in particular comes with Buyer Protection – you can read more about this here.

• Be wary of using shared Wi-Fi zones to make any payments, as these might not be secure.

• Make sure your computer has relevant safety precautions in place. You should have an up-to-date antivirus installed, the following are some free options: AVG, AVAST and Panda Security.

Section 75

Another tip when shopping on such a high-profile day like Black Friday is to use a credit card, if you have one, to pay for purchases. Doing this will mean that you’re covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act on any purchases that you make between the value of £100 and £30,000. Put simply, this means that if the goods or services that you purchased didn’t arrive or weren’t as they should be when they did – the retailer (or person that you bought from) and your credit card provider would be equally liable, and you’d be able to claim your money back.

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