Fraud & Black Friday – Visa Survey finds 73% targeted by fraudsters this year

42% of Irish consumers plan to shop the Black Friday / Cyber Monday sales this year, an increase of 10% on 2021, according to new research from Visa. With more people hoping to bag a bargain during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year, Visa is raising awareness of the things we can do to help protect ourselves from fraud.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of people surveyed said they are more alert to the possibility of being targeted by online fraudsters during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales compared to other times of the year.

However, with almost three-quarters (73%) of people saying that they were targeted by fraudsters this year, and 29% falling victim to fraud in the past, it’s more important than ever to know how you can keep your payments safe.

Saving money priority for Irish consumers

According to Visa’s research, 18% of people who plan to shop the Black Friday sales say they will do so simply because they enjoy shopping. However, with people more conscious of their finances than ever, it’s clear saving money is a top priority for consumers in Ireland. Visa’s research also showed:

—  45% of consumers plan to shop the November sales to save money on Christmas presents
—  44% said they plan to shop the sales to save money on an essential item that they’ve been waiting to buy
—  61% said they enjoy getting a bargain
—  Of the 58% of people who don’t plan on a Black Friday or Cyber Monday purchase, 28% of them say they are cutting back on spending this year
—  Almost one in five (17%) say they can’t afford to shop the sales this year due to rising prices

Mandy Lamb, Managing Director, Visa UK & Ireland, said: “With fraudsters using increasingly sophisticated techniques to target online shoppers, this is a particularly important time of year to let people know that there are things we can do to help keep our payments safe. That’s why we’re empowering shoppers to know how to spot the signs of fraud. When it comes to paying with Visa, you can feel confident that your payment has protection – Visa’s Zero Liability Policy means you won’t be held responsible for unauthorised or fraudulent charges made with your card details.“

Protection from payment fraud

With online fraudsters able to imitate everything from the language commonly used by businesses or organisations to logos and names, Visa is empowering shoppers by helping them spot the strategies commonly used by fraudsters so they can protect themselves from payment fraud online.

Since 2018, Visa has spent more than $9 billion to boost cybersecurity and reduce fraud, with an investment of $500 million in artificial intelligence and data infrastructure. In the last 12 months, Visa’s technology has blocked over $4.2 billion in fraudulent payments, preventing many from ever knowing they were at risk of a potentially fraudulent transaction.

With more people planning to shop over the November sales, Visa is sharing top tips for recognising the tell-tale signs of fraud:

1. Spell-check messages; look for inconsistencies, such as errors in grammar and spelling, or differences between the sender’s name and the URL link provided, which could indicate it’s fraud. If you receive a message from a company or individual out of the blue, be vigilant in checking for these errors.

2. Be cautious of urgent actions; this is a common tactic used by fraudsters to provoke the person they’re targeting to take immediate action. Look out for phrases like ‘send (…) here’ or ‘click (…) below’, or ‘within 48 hours’ and take the time to consider whether the message is genuine. If you’re unsure whether the action is legitimate, contact the organisation separately to check before carrying out any action.

3. Watch out for hidden prompts; fraudsters often provoke a response from you by either suggesting a problem (e.g. asking you to rearrange a disrupted delivery) or making a tempting offer (e.g. suggesting you have won a prize). Think about your recent dealings with that organisation and individual. If you don’t recognise the problem or the offer they’re trying to get you to react to, it’s most likely fraud.

4. Check their credibility; fraudsters work hard to convince you of their credibility in messages, sometimes using words and phrases that you might find in genuine communications. It can be hard to tell the difference, so if you are unsure, contact the company separately to verify the message’s legitimacy before clicking on a link.

5. Read out the message to someone you trust; It may sound obvious, but if you are unsure about the legitimacy of a message, it can help to discuss it with someone you trust. They may have also received a similar message and might be able to help advise on the best course of action to take. Sharing your experience might save someone else from falling victim too.

As a network helping to protect consumers’ payments, Visa is committed to tackling fraud to help everyone pay with confidence. In the unfortunate event that a payment does go wrong, Visa’s?Zero Liability Policy*?means you won’t be held responsible for unauthorised or fraudulent charges made with your account, so you shop confidently in the knowledge that Visa helps protect you from payment fraud online.

If you think you have been defrauded, call your bank and explain the situation – they can often help you claim your money back.

To find out more about the protections you have when paying with Visa, click here.