With some of the busiest shopping days of the year approaching, Bedford Borough Council is reminding residents to do their research and know their consumer rights.
With people looking to save money and search for better deals because of the additional pressures of the cost of living crisis, it’s even more important to be careful and think before committing to a purchase, could it be too good to be true?
Bedford Borough Council is urging consumers making online purchases to always exercise caution and make sure they think carefully before handing over any personal payment details and consider the following advice, especially as we approach Black Friday (25 November) and Cyber Monday (28 November):
- Do your research before committing to a purchase and shop around. Don’t fall for high-pressure sales tactics and always take time to reflect before clicking ‘buy’
- Before entering any payment information into a website, check the URL as scammers have been known to clone legitimate websites in order to steal banking details
- Use a protected payment method like a credit card, PayPal or a Klarna account as debit card payments are not protected if there is a problem with a purchase
- Buy from a reputable trader whose name you recognise and check the delivery, returns and cancellation details before committing to a purchase
Cllr Colleen Atkins, portfolio holder for Community Safety Regulatory Services and Housing said, “We know that people are concerned about the cost of living crisis this winter and Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be a good opportunity to pick up a bargain. However, please be cautious and do your research when looking to make a purchase online. If a deal looks too good to be true – maybe it is. As an alternative to online, residents could also consider shopping local, we have many excellent independent shops in the town centre and around the borough.”
If you think they have fallen foul to a scam call Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223113 or visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk.