Four ways you can make sure you don’t get stung on Black Friday

With new deals landing every day it can be tempting to throw caution to the wind and join the millions of shoppers making the most of Black Friday discounts.

But while it can be a good way to make some savings, especially with Christmas just around the corner, it’s important to make sure you’re vigilant when it comes to making a payment. 

In the hunt for the best price or biggest discount you may find yourself looking at unfamiliar websites and buying from unvetted retailers, leaving you and your finances exposed. Always shop with trusted retailers and recognised payment providers as they will provide the protection you need. Remember, if the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is.

As Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, reports scam online deals cost shoppers £15.4m over Christmas last year, Gail Goldie, Director of Savings and Lending at Tesco Bank shares four ways you can make sure to shop safely on Black Friday. 

1) Make sure your password is secure

With so many online accounts and passwords to remember it’s likely that you opt for a similar password for a number of sites or pick a password that can be easily remembered – but also easily guessed. Doing so can put you at risk from hackers that could steal your password from one account and use it to access other accounts. 

If you struggle to remember lots of passwords consider opting for biometric fingerprint or facial ID where possible to stop hackers from accessing your accounts even if they know your password.

2) Check your contents insurance covers any big purchases

If you are planning to spend big on Black Friday, it’s important to check that any pricey purchases will be protected under your current contents insurance policy. Tesco Bank insurance customers can add Personal Possessions to their contents insurance policy, covering any items that you wear or normally carry around with you, however any items valued over £2,000 must be individually specified on your contents insurance policy.

Some providers, such as Tesco Bank, will also provide customers with an automatic uplift in the value of contents cover during special Religious events like Christmas.

3) Don’t give away your personal information too easily

Our phones and many websites automatically remember our payment details which means a smooth and stress free checkout. But where you can, avoid making an account and sharing any details other than those that are mandatory for one-off purchases, or with retailers you don’t intend to use regularly.

UK Finance, in partnership with HM Government, have launched the Take Five anti-fraud campaign which encourages everyone shopping to stop and think before parting with money or personal information such as your mother’s maiden name, first pet or car. 

4) Use payments that give you Section 75 protection

Purchasing an item on a credit card gives you Section 75 protection. This means that any purchase over £100 is protected if the retailer goes into liquidation before you receive your new product, or the product is faulty.

However, to make sure you’re covered under the regulation, payments must have been made directly from your credit card to the supplier. If you use a third party such as PayPal, or Buy Now Pay Later providers, to make the purchase Section 75 won’t always apply and you could be left unable to make a claim. 

You should always reach out to the retailer in the first instance to find a solution, invoking Section 75 and your credit card provider should only be considered when other means have failed.

Photo by Xiaolong Wong