With the Black Friday sales well underway, many people across the borough have turned to online shopping to bag a deal due to the pandemic.

 

South Yorkshire Police have now urged residents to shop safely and to remain vigilant of falling victim to a fraudster.

 

Today (November 27), is Black Friday, which is considered the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season, with many retailers dropping prices for the occasion to entice shoppers.

 

However, the latest figures from Action Fraud show that shoppers across the country were conned out of almost £13.5m last year.

 

This is an increase of more than 20 per cent on the year before.

 

Action Fraud has also revealed they’ve seen a 30 per cent surge in online shopping fraud over the pandemic, as many people have switched to online shopping in light of the Covid-19 restrictions.

 

Dannielle Lee, the cyber protect officer for South Yorkshire Police, said: “Research the retailer to ensure they’re legitimate by reading reviews and checking consumer websites.

 

“If you receive an email with an amazing offer, it may contain a link to a fake website.

 

“If you’re not sure, search for the website instead and follow the link in the search results rather than clicking on the link in your email.

 

“Most major credit card providers give you online purchase protection, meaning you may get a refund in certain circumstances if things go wrong.

 

“Only fill in the mandatory details on a website while making a purchase - you shouldn’t need to provide any security details.

 

“Make sure you don’t have the same password for all your online accounts.

 

“If something doesn’t feel right, forward emails to report@phishing.gov.uk, and texts to 7726. It’s free to do so.”

 

If you have lost money, tell your bank and report it as a crime to Action Fraud on 0330 123 2040 or actionfraud.police.uk.