17 November 2022

TSB warn customers to be vigilant of Black Friday shopping scams

Fraudsters most likely to use Facebook and Instagram during busy Christmas shopping period

  • New TSB data reveals that purchase fraud accounts for 62% of all cases reported so far in 2022, with a significant number taking place on online platforms such as Facebook and Instagram
  • Average loss this year £500 on items such as cars, trainers and concert tickets
  • TSB reimburses 98% of customers who are tricked into a scam under its Fraud Refund Guarantee, compared to just 56% on average at other banks

TSB is warning people to be vigilant of online shopping scams on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as more customers are expected to be hunting for bargains to help balance paying for Christmas with the rising cost of living.

New data from TSB shows online purchase fraud is now the most common type of fraud reported by TSB’s customers, accounting for 62% of all cases. And of those cases, nearly 80% of purchase fraud cases reported so far in 2022 have taken place on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Fraudulent posts on Gumtree and eBay are also contributing to significant personal financial losses.

As one of the UK’s busiest shopping periods approaches, scammers will be ramping up activity and exploiting these platforms to prey on shoppers looking for a festive bargain.

Table 1: Most common social media platforms where purchase scams were reported by TSB customers in 2022

Platform Percentage of social media purchase scams reported by TSB customers (%) Average loss per case (£)
Facebook 58% £380
Instagram 18% £269
Gumtree 5.5% £648
eBay 5% £2,375
Twitter 4% £157
Snapchat 4% £282
WhatsApp 1.7% £937

Source: TSB, 2022

 

Despite frequent use by fraudsters, both Facebook and Instagram only provide purchase protection to people who pay for items using the platform’s on-site checkout systems. Any payments made through third-party sites such as PayPal or messaging services are not covered, with purchases collected in-person also ineligible for protection. The two social media platforms also do not offer protection for some of the most common types of purchase scams, including vehicles, properties, and tickets.

Cars, trainers and rental property deposits the most common type of purchase scams

According to the data, the most common items to make up a purchase scam range from car parts to trainers, games consoles and clothes. As consumers shop around for deals in the coming weeks, they should remain extra cautious for those that seem too good to be true including: *:

  1. Cars/car parts – for an average loss of £782 per person
  2. Trainers/shoes – for an average loss of £138 per person
  3. Rental property deposits – for an average loss of £846 per person
  4. Gaming consoles – for an average loss of £165 per person
  5. Puppies/kittens – for an average loss of £197 per person
  6. Clothes – for an average loss of £205 per person
  7. Concert tickets – for an average loss of £100 per person

*Most common items to make up purchase scams in 2022 according to TSB data, ordered from most to least

TSB Fraud Expert, Steph Sinclair said:
“This year more than ever shoppers will be hoping to land a bargain in the run-up to Christmas to help cope with the rising cost of living. While there are many legitimate deals to be had, it’s incredibly important to stay vigilant, particularly while on social media platforms – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

“This data shows that without the protection of TSB’s Fraud Refund Guarantee, customers would be losing hundreds – and in some cases thousands of their hard-earned cash to fraudsters.”

Media Contacts

Matthew Hepburn | Media Relations Manager, TSB
T: 07483 431 309 | matthew.hepburn@tsb.co.uk

Follow us on twitter: @TSB_News

Notes to editors

1. The data is based on analysis of TSB fraud cases that have taken place this year.

2. TSB is supporting customers with Cost of Living

  • We’ve provided support for customers with the new Money Worries page on TSB.co.uk and our Mobile Banking App. Since it was introduced in early July, it’s had over 60,000 visits. We’ve also sent over 42,000 texts to customers signposting the page.    
  • We’ve launched our new cost-of-living training (Support Well) for customer-facing colleagues with over 1,000 hours of learning completed already. This ensures colleagues are better equipped when they do need to have difficult conversations, and better able to support customers with budgeting, saving and managing debt.  
  • We continuing to assess the impact of the cost of living on our back-book (e.g. forecasting how many existing customers could slip into negative affordability) to ensure we support our customers appropriately on an individual basis.  
  • We’re also establishing early warning indicators to ensure we can help customers before they get into significant financial difficulty. We will contact customers who we think are most at risk of falling into arrears.  
The information contained in this press release is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.