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Black Friday marks start of distinctive fraud season

One of the year’s biggest online shopping days kicks off in a few days: Black Friday. But Black Friday is not just a great day for bargain hunters. It also marks the start of one of the most active periods for fraudsters. That is why Danske Bank is actively warning its customers via Danske Mobile Banking and providing advice on how to spot a scam.

Image Markus Spiske, Unsplash

Online shopping flourishes in November, when Black Friday means a wealth of special offers in the stores. However, while the many online purchases are good for both stores and consumers, parcel pick-up points and consumers’ inboxes get very busy – and fraudsters exploit this.

“We see a clear pattern of fraudsters exploiting the massive pressure there is on online shopping to send forged text messages and emails to consumers about orders and parcels. They know most of us can lose track when purchasing many parcels at once, and this is why they strike now, when online shopping is booming,” says Niels Halse, head of Fraud Prevention & Analytics at Danske Bank.

Fraud increase the week after Black Friday

172% in Denmark

104% across all countries

Reports of fraud peak after Black Friday
Last year, Danske Bank registered more than twice as many reports of fraud in the weeks after Black Friday as in the weeks prior to the day. In Denmark, the increase was 172% in the week after Black Friday, while the increase averaged 104% across all countries.

We expect that fraudsters will be particularly busy again this year on Black Friday and in the following weeks, which is why we are specifically warning our customers about fraud on Black Friday in Danske Mobile Banking.

“I would stress that we as consumers should not stop shopping online or making use of the good offers that can pop up on Black Friday. But we would urge our customers to be alert, not only on Black Friday, but also in the following weeks – particularly if they receive text messages or emails encouraging them to click on links or to disclose information. You should always be cautious about such messages,” says Niels Halse.

Advice for customers
Fraudsters use several different methods around Black Friday.

The scam can occur in connection with the online purchase, with consumers buying goods that they never receive, for example. But it can also take the form of forged text messages and emails after the purchase, with the fraudster perhaps writing that the purchase has not gone through, or that a parcel has to be collected or resent. In the latter example, the fraudsters will often attempt to coax bank account details out of the customer and defraud them in that way.

Avoid fraud when shopping online

  • Always contact your bank if you suspect you have been defrauded.
  • Be aware of spelling and grammatical errors in messages and in website addresses.
  • Do not click suspicious links you receive by text message or email.
  • Never enter your PIN and avoid giving your payment card details if you have doubts about the receiver.
  • Use international payment cards (Mastercard and Visa) so you are better protected.
  • Look for the ‘Sikker Shopping’ (Secure Shopping) e-label, read reviews on Google and Trustpilot before shopping online and use the ‘Mit digitale selvforsvar’ (My digital self-defence) app, which uploads examples of fake emails.