Yes, it’s that time of the year again with just 45 days to go before Christmas.
For retailers this is the best time of the year, but also the most profitable time for scammers. What I am talking about is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is something we should be aware off, regardless of where we live, as the internet respects national boundaries.
Although there are some fantastic bargains to be made on what is known as Black Friday (this year 23rd November) and Cyber Monday 26th November, unfortunately there are criminals who take advantage of this through various scams and on-line fraud.
UK Data shows that visits to the online retail industry during Black Friday in 2017, were up one per cent year-on-year, an increase of 2.7 million visits. In total, that’s 200 million visits now. When it comes to Cyber Monday, the numbers are even more impressive. Visits increased seven per cent year-on-year, representing an extra 12 million visits, and amounting to a total of 195.7 million visits.
In Portugal on-line shopping fraud is the largest in terms of all on-line frauds and is increasing considerably.

Our Feature published in the Algarve Resident covers this in more detail. The main tips to avoid being scammed are:

  • Pay by credit card which offers greater protection against fraud than with other methods.
  • Double check all details of your payment before confirming. Before entering payment card details on a website, ensure that the link is secure, in two ways:
    • There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window frame, which appears when you attempt to log in or register. Be sure that the padlock is not on the page itself … this will probably indicate a fraudulent site.
    • The web address should begin with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’.
  • The above indicate only that the link between you and the website owner is secure, and not that the site itself is authentic. You need to do this by carefully checking the address for subtle misspellings, additional words and characters and other irregularities.
  • Check the website’s privacy policy.
  • Always log out of sites into which you have logged in or registered details. Simply closing your browser is not enough to ensure privacy.
  • Keep receipts – electronic or otherwise.
  • Check credit card and bank statements carefully after payment to ensure that the correct amount has been debited, and also that no fraud has taken place as a result of the transaction.