Trading standards want people to shop wisely as the peak festive buying period draws near.
Last Year Black Friday saw UK shoppers spend an estimated £5bn on Christmas gifts in just one day last year, while an estimated £1.5bn was spent online on Cyber Monday last year.
This year, Black Friday will be on November 27 and Cyber Monday on November 30. The county council’s Trading Standards team has some useful advice for consumers ahead of this busy shopping period.
Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, committee chairman for community safety at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “Online transactions are commonly targeted by fraudsters because, unlike actually being at a store checkout or bank counter, we cannot actually see who we are paying our money to. “Most reputable organisations make it as safe as possible for you to shop online, but criminals are highly skilled at creating fake websites and inventing ways to obtain your personal information.”
Nottinghamshire County Council Trading Standards work with the National Trading Standards E-Crime team to investigate and stop these crimes from happening, but each year many people still fall victim.
Watch out for bogus websites or Facebook accounts, advertising very cheap goods as a way of obtaining your bank details. Before making an online purchase ensure you are certain that you are dealing with a legitimate business.
Local High Street shoppers should purchase their goods from reputable retailers to avoid buying counterfeit goods and increase their chances of receiving a refund or exchange after Christmas if needed.
Councillor Gilfoyle said: “It is a very busy retail period in the run-up to Christmas and people should be wary if products are too cheap as there is normally a good reason as they are likely to be counterfeit or of poor quality. Counterfeit alcohol can contain dangerous chemicals and cheap electrical items may not meet current safety standards.”
Shoppers buying gifts for a loved one on the High Street are also recommended to request a gift receipt to enable the receiver to ask for an exchange and use a credit card for presents worth over £100 for extra rights if there is a problem.
The county council’s Trading Standards team adds that the new Consumer Rights Act, which came into force on October 1, will help both consumers and traders to know their rights following the sale of goods and services.
Under the new legislation, goods must be of satisfactory quality, be fit for particular purpose, be as described and match a model seen, and services must be carried out with reasonable care and skill and within a reasonable time.