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Shopping scams

One in four (24 per cent) of millennials have been duped over the past five years after being lured in with the promise of massive discounts during the Black Friday shopping time in November. Barclays has warned shoppers to be on their guard. It said that the top four most commonly scammed items last year were televisions, laptops and tablets, mobile phones; and headphones.

Shopping scams were the most prevalent bank transfer scams in the first half of 2019, with criminals increasingly using social media to trick customers into revealing their personal information or transferring money.

Criminals are deploying a range of tactics to catch shoppers out, including posting fake adverts on social media offering cut price deals on non-existent goods, and the ‘digital skimming’ of sensitive information such as card data from online shoppers.

Yet, despite the financial risk associated with these scams, more than half of millennials (55 per cent) would not hear alarms bells if faced with a deal that looked ‘too good to be true’ and only a third (31 per cent) would think twice before purchasing an item through a social media advert. According to Barclays’ own data, 59 per cent of high value shopping scams result in losses of £2000 or more.

Ross Martin, Barclays Head of Digital Safety, said: “As thousands of items go on sale this Black Friday, it’s crucial that we are all aware of the risks and do not let our guards down, or rush into purchases. Using sophisticated techniques, criminals will be preparing to exploit our desperation for this year’s best bargains. Make sure that you do your research and carry out the proper safety checks to stay ahead of the scammers.”

Meanwhile more than two-in-five of those born after 1995 in ‘Generation Z’ (43pc) would expect to pay for a biometric payment card, while a third (33pc) would be willing to pay between £3 to £5 per month for a debit or credit card with fingerprint protection rather than a standard one. That’s among findings from a survey for a fingerprint identification product company. Three-in-five (62pc) think banks should offer biometric payment cards against payment fraud.

David Orme, SVP, IDEX Biometrics ASA says: “There is a clear emphasis on banking and payment security among Generation Z. Younger shoppers already understand the importance of protecting their bank accounts and cards, and they’re excited by a future that uses biometric technology to achieve this.

“Generation Z are familiar with fingerprint authentication in smartphones and payment apps and understand the level of security they provide. Because of this, adopting biometric fingerprint payment cards is a small but crucial step to protect the next wave of consumers from payment fraud, without inconveniencing their lives,”


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