Commissioner reminds shoppers to be wary during Black Friday and Cyber Monday

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POLICE and Crime Commissioner Jon Dwyer is reminding shoppers to be wary of  ‘Black Friday’ and “Cyber Monday” with retailers dropping prices to entice shoppers in the run-up to Christmas.

Deals that appear to be too good to be true, usually are and cybercrime is on the rise with fraudsters becoming more and more elaborate.

Although it was originally an American holiday, it’s been a decade since the UK embraced Black Friday. With many retailers starting their sales earlier and earlier it can seemingly be an easy way for cyber criminals to capitalise and make some quick cash.

Mr Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said: ““If a deal seems to be good to be true, then it usually is. I urge everyone to please remain vigilant. Following on from the pandemic, cybercrime is now one of the fastest growing crimes in Cheshire and fraud offences have become more regular as criminals have become more sophisticated.

“In my Police and Crime Plan I talk about this rising threat. Cybercriminals are active 365 days a year, but there are moments in the year that are more opportunistic for them. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of these events and I want to urge the public to be careful.

Fraud and cybercrime can be notoriously difficult to investigate and prosecute, as many of these crimes originate from abroad and criminals are becoming better at covering their tracks.

John Dwyer, added: “Where fraud and cybercrime can be investigated locally, I will ensure that the Constabulary has the most up to date technology to enable them to do this effectively, but it’s vital we provide people with the information to prevent these crimes in the first place.”

Although many people take advantage of the online offerings many retailers promote, footfall to local shopping centres and outlet villages increases during this time.

John Dwyer said: “I’m encouraging everyone who goes out shopping in the run up to the festive period to take heed of the ShopKind initiative and be thoughtful and polite to shopworkers

“The pandemic brought out a real sense of community spirit and people were kind to each other as they all worked together to look our for one another. As things are returning back to normality, I hope the kindness that was shown to others during the truly testing past 18 months isn’t completely disregarded.”

Information on warning signs for scams can be found on the Action Fraud website www.actionfraud.police.uk

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