Customers warned to be wary of scams this Black Friday

Shoppers out in force in Norwich city centre on Black Friday. Photo in 2015. Steve Adams

Consumer groups have warned people to take caution when shopping for deals this Black Friday - Credit: Steve Adams

Black Friday promises a day of bargain prices, but are some deals too good to be true?

According to Action Fraud, a national fraud and cyber crime agency, during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales last year almost £2.5 million was lost to criminals.

Norfolk County Council Trading Standards has also warned people to take extra caution when shopping online, calling on consumers to "shop savvy".

Norfolk County Council's Trading Standards communities officer, Stephen Maunder, said: "If a deal seems too good to be true then it probably is.

"Always take your time to purchase goods online, never feel rushed by the deadline and do your research to ensure you are confident that you are buying from a bona fide supplier."

To help keep safe, Action Fraud offers this useful advice:

Choose where you shop

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Make sure to research the website or person that you are buying from by looking at reviews of the website and buyer feedback.

Choose the safest payment method

Choose a payment method that offers buyer protection, such as a credit card. Most major credit card companies will refund you if the item is faulty, damaged, or never arrives.

Keep passwords secure

Use strong separate passwords for your email accounts and website logins. Always use two-factor authentication when available.

Watch out for phishing emails and texts

Emails promising amazing deals and offers can sometimes be too good to be true and could contain links to fake websites.

If you receive a suspicious email, you can report it to report@phishing.gov.uk

Deals too good to be true

These steps can help protect you from falling foul of scams but it is also important to be cautious at all times.

According to consumer watchdog Which?, some products been sold this Black Friday may be "duds," sold at discount prices due to the products' poor quality.

Items which had been reported to Which? in the past include a dangerous child car seat, a badly functioning laptop, a washing machine that failed to clean clothes and a poor quality TV.

In addition, research by Which? also showed that nine in ten Black Friday 'deals' are the same price or cheaper in the six months ahead of the event. 

Which? head of home products and services, Lisa Barber, said: “A product that doesn’t do what it is supposed to is going to be a terrible deal, no matter how cheap it is – and this year we’ve found some absolute duds in the Black Friday sales.

“If you’re in the market for a quality product at a price that offers outstanding value for money, there are deals to be had, but we suggest you seek out reliable reviews and independent testing that you can trust.”

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