Find Savings not Scams this Boxing Day

by Melissa Craib

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

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BARGAIN-HUNTERS are being urged to stay vigilant during the upcoming winter sales to prevent falling foul to scammers.

The Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) is warning people who are on the hunt for bargains online to be wary of fake websites and potential scams.

With the anticipated record number of people looking to find a bargain online during the upcoming winter sales, coupled with the advanced techniques now used by cyber criminals, the risk of shoppers falling victim has never been greater.

Gerry Grant, an ethical hacker with SBRC, said: “For many years it was tradition on boxing day onwards to wrap up warm and go to the shops trying to save yourself some pennies in the sales.

“However, in recent years more and more of us are opting for the warmth of our home to find the sought-after bargains and deals. Unfortunately not everyone will be in the festive spirit and scammers will be taking advantage of this trend.

“By following a few simple tips before making a purchase on any website you can usually protect yourself.”

It is important to keep your personal and financial information safe when browsing online services and emails. To keep your details safe you need to look out for four things:-

  • ‘https://’ at the start of the address bar or a padlock icon. The ‘S’ indicates that it is a secure server and that your information will be safe. Facebook uses this.
  • ‘Green Address Bar’ another indicator that some secure websites use is to turn the address bar green.
  • Users should also check the page that is sharing any vouchers. Does it look genuine? Is it posting other content from that supermarket i.e. festive recipes or discounts? If not it may not be the real deal.
  • Look out for the blue tick – Facebook and Twitter have a blue tick scheme for verified accounts. This is a handy way to verify that a page is the real deal.

Finally, hackers may disguise fraudulent addresses with shortened links, hiding the URL. In these cases there are a number of sites that can be utilised to double-check the destination, such as http://wheredoesthislinkgo.com/

Interested in working with our Scottish PR agency to ensure you share the right message?

If you’d like to learn more, visit us at www.holyroodpr.co.uk simply call 0131 561 2244 or fill out the form below:

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