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Cyber Monday Scams Set To Target UK Online Shoppers

Get in the know on some of the techniques criminals will be using over the coming weeks to con UK internet shoppers - and get tips to protect yourself when buying online!

Get in the know on some of the techniques criminals will be using over the coming weeks to con UK internet shoppers - and get tips to protect yourself when buying online!

In 2 weeks time, Cyber Monday (27th November) will be here. It is regarded as the date that everyone goes online looking for sales and deals in time for Christmas. Accordingly, the scammers and hackers are gearing up for this day, too.

Research suggests that nearly all (98%) of the UK population now shop online, with nearly a third (29%) plan to shop on Cyber Monday.

Along with this enthusiasm however comes risk: the research, which queried 1,000 UK consumers, showed that one in five admitted to having already been caught out by an online scam.

Range Of Techniques Used To Trick Shoppers

Some of the methods criminals may use to con online shoppers in the run up to Christmas include: 

  • Using social media posts to promote scam offers on tech, toys and treats in high demand over the festive buying period
  • Setting up fake websites with offers and sales, designed to trick you into sharing financial information with criminals - instead of buying legitimate goods
  • Phishing scams claiming you have bought something online, and offering a refund when you click on a link - even though you never purchased the item. Clicking on the link takes you to a fake site, where criminals receive your bank details after you enter them to claim the 'refund'
  • Some emails may also contain Ransomware when you download an attachment, or click on the link

As shoppers search for Cyber Monday deals, it’s important that you remember to look closely at links and email addresses before clicking.


  • Stick to trusted companies and organisations when shopping online - look for a phone number, website, UK postal address and what other people have said about the company online if you have never heard of them before.
  • If you receive an email about any purchased items - do not click on the links. Instead, sign into your account directly via the website to see your purchase history, update any details and to track your order.

  • Do not click on social media links offering great prices for in demand gifts. Again, go directly to the company website; and verified social media accounts (many have a blue tick to prove this), to see if an offer posted on social media is genuine.

  • Spelling and/or grammatical mistakes in emails, social media posts and websites can be a clear sign that it is a scam.

  • Whenever you enter your personal details online, only do so on sites with HTTPS and a padlock within the address bar. If this is not there, do not enter any information - as the site is not secure, and they may not be a legitimate company. See the video below for more information on this:

The brands most likely to be spoofed this November likely correspond with the most popular online retailers in the UK, which according to the survey include Amazon (87%), Argos (46%) and Tesco (35%).

  • If you do fall victim to an online shopping scam, report what happened to Action Fraud online or via 0300 123 2040. 
  • If you have fallen victim to a local trader, contact Warwickshire Trading Standards, via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040 506.
  • You can also receive support from Warwickshire Victim Support, on  01926 682 693, following any cyber crime.