Transactions increase

More fraudsters tempted to cash in on Christmas

RBS fingerprint card

Card use is rising (pic: Terry Murden)

Royal Bank of Scotland said it has processed a record number of transactions in the run up to Christmas – and a record number of attempted frauds.

Since Black Friday, the bank’s customers have spent £11.816 billion while it prevented 39,181 fraudulent transactions, preventing debit and credit customers from losing over £11.64m.

Over the Christmas shopping period from 29 November to 19 December, just under 310 million credit and debit card transactions have been processed a sharp increase on the 251million transactions over the same period last year.

Jason Costain, head of fraud at RBS, said: “We’ve just seen one of busiest shopping weekends of the year and we have been working around the clock to keep our customers safe and secure. 

“At this time of year customers should also be extra vigilant of scams and if a deal looks too good to be true it probably is.”

To help prevent fraud and scams, RBS recommends the following actions:

  1. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Be aware of counterfeits on social media. If the price is far lower than usual and from a retailer you hadn’t previously heard of, it’s likely to be a scam.
  3. Using your credit or debit card to pay offers you significant protection from fraud and poor-quality goods. If you are asked to send money direct to the bank account of the seller, be careful – this could be a fraudster.
  4. A padlock on a website URL means it’s encrypted for payment but still be cautious, goods might not be genuine even though your details are safe.
  5. Be on alert for bad spelling and grammar mistakes or phrases that don’t sound quite right.
  6. Banks never ask for personal or private information over text or email. Delete suspicious messages and report to the bank on a number you can trust.

Meantime, an SNP MSP has warned that Scottish shoppers are still being penalised by extra delivery surcharges, after new figures revealed that the total additional cost to the Scottish adult population impacted by delivery surcharges will reach £12m this Christmas.

The new figures from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) also show that Scottish shoppers were forced to fork out an extra £40.1m this year in delivery surcharges relative to the rest of the UK.

SNP MSP for Moray, Richard Lochhead, has led the fight against these unfair fees, securing a commitment from Advertising Standards Authority last year to crackdown on firms that, despite advertising UK-wide delivery, penalise residents and businesses in rural Scotland with extortionate delivery surcharges.

Mr Lochhead said the UK government has to do more to end this practice and “get a grip of sky-high surcharge fees”.

Commenting, Richard Lochhead MSP said: “Westminster has the powers to put an end to rip-off parcel delivery surcharges for Scots – but for too long now successive UK governments have sat on their hands and done nothing.”

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