To many, this week is considered the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Retailers across the globe are capitalising on the US thanksgiving holiday tradition that we know as 'Black Friday' to peak interest with 'special sales' and 'unique offers'.

With consumers racing to bag a bargain ahead of the festive season, shoppers need to be mindful of their online activity and how and who they are making payment too. The shift to e-commerce shopping over the traditional bricks and mortar, has increased cyber security risks and has resulted in a surge of fraudulent activity online, with a number of consumers being subject to Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams.

The National Cyber Security Centre ('NCSC') are urging bargain hunters to bolster their cyber security in the approach to the festive season, after new figures revealed victims of online shopping scams lost on average £1,000 per person in the same period last year. As part of a nationwide drive to promote its Cyber Aware campaign, the NCSC have published guidance on how to shop safely online. The campaign provides a series of simple steps for shoppers to reduce their risk of suffering similar losses during this year’s Black Friday and pre-Christmas period.

Back in 2020, when the ability to visit physical stores became limited with local restrictions, we had put a useful article together that explains what a APP scam is, the rules, how a victim can be to blame, the steps a victim should take and the sets out the difference between Ombudsman and Court Proceedings.

Read the full article here and visit the National Cyber Secruity Centre for more information.