On your marks, get smart, shop! How to seize the thrill of a deal and dodge the traps 🎮


We know you’ll get the presents sorted in plenty of time this year. We believe in you. 😉
Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be not-so-secret weapons for organising yourself and saving your business money on purchases too. But remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Despite this year’s shopping spectaculars happening at a difficult time across the UK following the ongoing cost of living crisis, an estimated 6% more people are looking to save money in the Black Friday sales than last year.

There’s no doubt you’ve been keeping an eye on your wish list while waiting to see prices go limbo-low. Yet tighter budgets and careful spending also mean it’s vital you don’t hand over your hard-earned cash to fraudsters in the upcoming days. That’s why we’ve prepared some tips for swerving fake ads and fraudsters, so you don’t run into more than you bargained for.

The dark side of sales

The high street could be busier this holiday season as we head back to the pre-pandemic shopping routine. This also means that fraudsters won’t have the same opportunity to cast their net over those who prefer to browse the sales in-store rather than online. But fewer online targets will only fuel these fraudsters’ pride to step up their game. Yes, you might secure the bargain of a lifetime, but we encourage you not to let your guard down. Eagerness can lead to you biting off more than you can chew.

Fraudsters use Black Friday and Cyber Monday as glittering opportunities to insert their own adverts amongst genuine offers in order to make them appear far less suspicious than at any other time of the year.

So how do you make sure you’re shopping with a reputable seller and paying securely? Follow our advice for keeping your head, and your bank balance in check.

Spotted a sale sign? Stop and think 🤔

  • Pay attention to your inbox 
    Phishing emails are a common method that scammers use for stealing confidential information about you or your business. So if you get an email from a suspicious looking address, don’t reply to it directly and never click links or sketchy-looking content. It might look like your favourite retailer has emailed you but look for emails that contain lots of numbers or aren’t using the brand name.

  • Avoid the pressure to purchase
    Fraudsters sometimes also use high pressure selling techniques and phrasing like ‘Buy now!’, ‘Hurry!’ or adverts using visible countdown clocks or timers. These can be red flags for fake deals. 

  • Look for the padlock symbol
    You’re more likely to be browsing securely when you identify the browser’s padlock icon and see ‘https’, but this is one of the many things you should look out for to determine your safety using a website.
  • Avoid links sent by text messages
    Think twice before opening unfamiliar links in an SMS.That way you can avoid being a victim of smishing scams.
  • Provide mandatory information only
    If you decide you trust a retailer enough to make a purchase, they don’t need information like your mother’s maiden name, pet’s name or anything else which could aid insight into your passwords.

  • Look at the reviews
    Research the product or brand and add the word ‘scam’ next to it. Bad reviews from other users can be a sign that a retailer is fraudulent. You can also search for a company’s details and legitimacy on GOV.UK

Is Black Friday more about trading for your business?

If your laser focus is on maximising your business revenues during the biggest sale of the year, kick start the season on a positive note by keeping these red flags in mind.

 🚩 Bogus buyers are out in force.
If you offer customers the option to pay you via bank transfer, you could receive a clever email impersonating the ‘customer’s’ bank. It will say something like – the transfer is ‘on hold’. ‘Payment is needed to proceed’. That’s a sign to stop the interaction. Making a payment or responding to the email could result in you losing money or sharing personal data that fraudsters could use to access your account. Banking organisations don’t act as middlemen between a seller and a buyer or breach data privacy laws to email third parties about a payment.

 🚩 Chargeback frauds are a thing.
Chargeback fraud, otherwise known as friendly fraud, happens when consumers fraudulently try to get money from you by disputing the transaction with their bank to initiate the chargeback process. They’ll falsely complain that their order was defective or not delivered, that they didn’t approve of the transaction or that they had cancelled a transaction and were charged anyway.

Take a look at these quick-fire tips on how you can protect your business and reduce the chances of unwanted chargebacks:

  • Have a crystal clear and straightforward refund policy
  • Give an honest overview of your product or service 
  • Stay on top of your stock allocation
  • Make sure you meet delivery timeframes
  • Confirm your business name comes up on customer statements
  • Make yourself or someone in your business available for queries 

Shop with us by your company’s side 🔒🛡️

Now that you know what to look out for when shopping or selling, we’re reminding you how using your Tide card can help you confidently enjoy the excitement of Black Friday. 

  • Avoid paying for goods using Faster Payments
    Using your Tide card is one way to make safer and more secure payments when picking up some bargains.

  • Feel protected by 3D Secure 
    We use 3D Secure (3DS) as an additional protective step to make sure it’s you spending the money using your Tide card or your team using their Expense Cards and prevent fraudsters from making payments on your company’s behalf.

  • Set spending limits on your team’s Expense Cards
    Have a little added comfort when allowing your team to spend directly from your account by setting spending limits for their Expense Cards. For the moths to a sale sign. 🔥

  • Enjoy the safety and convenience of paying with Apple Pay
    Using Apple Pay is an easy and secure way to pay with your Tide card or Expense Cards while shopping online or in-store wherever you see the contactless payment symbol. Transactions are private, meaning your data is not passed to the website when you pay. Your Expense card holders can also add to their Apple Pay wallet for team-wide protection.

  • Make sure to keep your software updated 
    Before you hit the sales, pop over to the App Store or Play Store and make sure you’re using the latest version of the Tide app to benefit from our most recent security updates and controls.

Clicked on a bad ad? We don’t judge. We help.

You shouldn’t wait until you’ve become a scam victim.

If you’ve fallen victim to a scam, get in touch with your bank immediately. If you’re with Tide, send us an in-app message and we’ll guide you through the next steps. 

You have 45 days to report a ‘Goods & Services dispute.’ 

Tap: Support→ Emergency →Report Fraud 

  • Forward any suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk, where the NCSC can investigate them
  • Report fraudulent text messages to your mobile provider on 7726. They won’t charge you.

Empower your team members

If you have Team Members, show how you consider their online safety by sharing this article with them. There’s loads of information in our Keep your business safe series to make sure that you’re armed with all the facts. Our articles can help familiarise your employees and partners with best practices that’ll help protect your business.

Louise Brown

Louise Brown

Senior Writer

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