AS Black Friday approaches, shoppers are being reminded how they can protect themselves from fraud.

The retail day takes place this Friday and allows shoppers to grab discounts on their Christmas shopping.

However, new data from Action Fraud revealed that more than 28,000 shoppers were conned out of their money when shopping online over the Christmas period last year.

Action Fraud has now released tips on how to stay safe when grabbing festive bargains.

The first tip is to shop from reputable websites. If you don't trust the site, look online for reviews of the website or person you are buying from.

The second is to use a secure payment method such as a credit card. This offers buyer protection and major credit card providers can help you to get your money back if your item is damaged or never arrives.

Using a strong password can also help you to stay safe online. Using a strong password to your email account can prevent fraudsters from being able to hack into other accounts such as online shopping accounts.

Finally, be wary of phishing emails or texts. Some of the messages you receive about amazing offers may contain links to fake websites. If you are unsure, don't use the link and visit the website directly.