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Thursday 24th November 2016

Stay safe online this Black Friday

written by Leicestershire Police

As Black Friday (Friday 25 November) and Cyber Monday (Monday 28 November) approach, Leicestershire Police is warning the public to take care as they seek out good deals over the coming days. If you aren’t careful, you might get more than you bargained for, and it cost you more than you think!

Financial Fraud Action UK has released research findings that worryingly show that nearly a third of consumers put themselves at risk of fraud during the mad frenzy to grab Christmas bargains.

Samantha Hancock, Cyber Protect Officer for Leicestershire Police, advises “It’s all too easy to get carried away at the prospect of a great deal, but as you shop, please take an extra five minutes to double check everything – be safe, not sorry”

• Know who you are shopping with. Access the website you are planning to buy from by typing the address into your web browser, avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails or adverts on social media. Check the URL is the official one.
• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Where an offer looks too good to be true, then there is usually a catch. 
• Don’t rush. That’s when mistakes occur. “Take Five” before you buy. If you’re using a retailer for the first time, make sure you research them before you give them any of your details. Check returns policies and reviews from other buyers. 
• Always check for the padlock symbol and the letter “s” after http in the address bar. It’s a good indication that they are reputable and that the site is secure. Do not enter personal information if the padlock and “https” are not showing.
• Stay safe and use retailers you trust. Only use retailers that you know, or have been recommended to you. If you’re buying a major brand, you can often find a list of authorised sellers on their official website.
• Making a purchase over £100? Use a credit card rather than a debit card as you have more protection in the event of there being a problem with the purchase.

For more advice on staying safe online, visit www.getsafeonline.org and www.cyberaware.gov.uk

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