In the days leading up to Black Friday and the subsequent run up to Christmas, everybody needs to be extra vigilant to the increased risk of frauds and scams. Don’t let fraudsters steal your hard earned cash and spoil your celebrations.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is warning shoppers of enhanced online scams after millions were lost last year. Cyber criminals are likely to use artificial intelligence (AI) to increase the perceived legitimacy of their scams. AI technology will produce more convincing scam emails, fake adverts and bogus websites.

The NCSC is urging shoppers to look out for:

Urgency – are you told you only have a limited time to respond? Criminals often threaten negative consequences or costs

Scarcity – is the message offering something in short supply? Fear of missing out on a good deal can make you respond quickly

Current events, such as Black Friday – criminals will often exploit current news stories or specific times of year to make their scam seem more relevant

The NCSC has produced helpful guidance on shopping securely online covering:

  • Choosing carefully where to shop
  • Using a credit card for online payments
  • Only providing enough details to complete your purchase
  • Keeping all your online accounts secure
  • Spotting suspicious emails, text messages and websites
  • What to do if things go wrong

To view the full guidance, visit:

Action Required

This alert provides information and advice about fraud and economic crime, and the risks associated with it. If you have fallen victim to fraud you should report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visit:  Reporting fraud and cyber crime | Action Fraud

If you have given your bank details and think you may have lost money, contact your bank immediately.

For further discussion and support, including fraud awareness training, Contact Us or Melanie Alflatt, Director – Risk and Advisory, Email: