Bank fraud investigator warns Christmas shoppers not to fall for scams

·2-min read
Shoppers have been warned about a rise in online scams  (PA Archive)
Shoppers have been warned about a rise in online scams (PA Archive)

A top fraud investigator has warned Christmas shoppers not to fall for "too good to be true" online deals.

Jim Winters, head of fraud at Barclays, said customers were unlikely to be refunded by their banks if taken in by cheap prices only for the goods not to arrive.

He warned of a rise in online scams as some presents and festive food become increasingly hard to get hold of because of lorry driver shortages.

"We are asking consumers to look out for shopping scams," he told BBC's Today Programme.

"A few examples of the things you can see right now are goods that are very difficult to get hold of suddenly available online, amazing prices for goods that are difficult to get hold of or that look to good to be true.

“Beyond shopping we are seeing things like an increase in building work scams...investment scams continue to be a problem."

Mr Winter added that Barclays was "proud" of the number of victims it has refunded.

However he said customers will be unlikely to get their money back from the bank if they do not "take enough care to research an opportunity that might be too good to be true."

It comes as a drinks trade body warned Britain could face wine and spirit shortages this Christmas.

Rising costs and supply chain chaos mean deliveries are taking up to five times longer than they were last year, the Wine and Spirit Trade Association said in a letter to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

It was co-signed by 49 firms, including Pernod Ricard and Moët Hennessy, and blames HGV driver shortages, Covid and Brexit complications for the problems.

"Unless urgent action is taken, we will fall deeper into delivery chaos," the letter states.

"Businesses like ours previously able to fulfil orders in two to three days now have to operate on a day one for day fifteen basis,"

The government said it does not expect disruption to the supply of alcohol this Christmas.

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