HSBC warns customers of purchase scams ahead of Black Friday

19 Nov, 2021

HSBC UK has teamed up with professional magician Troy von Scheibner in advance of Black Friday (26 November) to highlight some of the tricks scammers will play on shoppers.

Troy von Scheibner said: “As a professional magician, my aim is to entertain using a specialist set of skills. However, these techniques can also be used by fraudsters to fool people.”

As part of HSBC UK’s campaign Troy took to the streets to show consumers how fraudsters are playing mind games on us, designed to gain our trust and pressure. Check out the video here

Black Friday is the perfect time for consumers to grab a bargain, but the dangers of falling victim to a purchase scam grows year-on-year.

Purchase scams –  where fraudsters trick shoppers into paying in advance for goods or services that are never received – are the most common form of APP scam affecting HSBC customers, with 6,218 cases reported so far this year. Purchase scams increased by 17% in August 2021 compared with August last year, although less scams are being reported in the last few months compared to the start of 2021. A total of £6.98 million was reported lost to purchase scams in 2020.

David Callington, Head of Fraud at HSBC UK, said: “Fraudsters can put consumers under their spell and make them think they are giving out personal or financial information for a legitimate reason. If a deal looks too good to be true – it probably is. Use secure payment methods and only buy from sites you trust.

“At HSBC UK, we’re working hard to protect customers against fraud – but there are lots of ways you can help to protect yourself too. By being aware of the tricks fraudsters use you can help keep your money safe.”

How to spot fraudsters’ tricks

  • Someone contacts you out of the blue, by call, text or email
  • They claim to be from a trusted organisation, like your bank, utility provider or police
  • They can sound genuine, as they may already have gathered information about you online
  • They often put you under pressure to do something without you having time to think it through properly.
  • Calls, texts and emails may appear genuine but their actions and requests are not

Last month HSBC UK warned customers never to disclose their One Time Passcode (the code their prompted to input to authorise a transaction when shopping online) as they reported scams involving suspected disclosed passcodes had risen by 25% in the last six months.

To learn more about purchase scams and how customers can protect themselves, visit: