Sale shoppers urged to walk, not run, this sale season amidst Black Friday scams

Product & feature · 17 November 2023

  • Revolut Head of Financial Crime is warning consumers to stay vigilant amidst surging frauds this sale season as e-commerce scams such as fake websites become increasingly sophisticated
  • Revolut’s single use virtual disposable cards, which protect shoppers’ card details so they are never shared with vendors, have seen a 154% increase year on year and are one of the safest way to shop online

Revolut, the global financial app with nearly 8 million customers in the UK, warns that euphoria and urgency experienced by shoppers seeking to score a deal may come at a cost.

David Eborne, Head of Financial Crime at Revolut shares types of scams shoppers should be weary of:

  • Fake websites: Scammers use the latest and greatest tech to set up fake retailer websites so that they look exactly like genuine online retail stores. Some of the fake stores will send you the product you purchased but their real goal was to obtain your personal and card data.
  • Selling fake goods: Some sites sell luxury items like popular jewellery or clothing brands, or electronics at very low prices. Sometimes shoppers will receive the item they paid for but they will be fake or other times they will receive nothing at all.
  • Temporary fake sites: A newer version of online shopping scams involves the use of social media platforms to set up fake online stores. The stores open for a short time and then disappear after some sales are made.
  • Social media advertising: Scammers use social media to advertise their fake website. Often they use “Swipe up” features and put a time pressure against it to create a sense of urgency.

The Safest Way to Shop Online

For many customers, a fear when shopping online is to have their card details stolen. However, David says this risk can be mitigated by using Revolut’s single-use virtual disposable cards. The cards provide users with a temporary, randomly generated card number, CVV, and expiration date to be used for a single transaction. Once the transaction is completed, the virtual card is automatically perished, reducing the risk of unauthorised transactions, and safeguarding personal and financial information. David also advises that if a purchase is not received or was misrepresented by the seller, then customers should raise a dispute via the Revolut app.

Last year, over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Revolut customers in the UK spent £2.7m on more than 60,000 virtual disposable cards - a year on year increase of 154% as compared to the same timeframe in 2021.

Over £1.2 billion was stolen by criminals through authorised and unauthorised fraud in 2022, equivalent to over £2,300 every minute, according to UK Finance*. David encourages even more customers to use virtual disposable cards to help with security when shopping online.

David Eborne, Head of Fraud Operations at Revolut, says: “Black Friday shoppers are regularly left deflated and out of pocket after being duped by online scammers, particularly when under time pressure to buy an item.

“At Revolut, our top priority is to help avoid online fraud to keep you and your money safe. Protected by a 2,500-strong, 24/7 fraud prevention team, in 2022 we prevented our customers from falling victim to more than £200M in potential fraud. Our sophisticated fraud detection systems constantly monitor for high risk transactions to keep you safe while you continue saving, sending and spending with ease.

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