Lloyds Bank warning as trainer scams double in months with Nike most popular among fraudsters

With prices for some trainers reaching into the hundreds of pounds and high profile sneakerheads such as Kylie Jenner and Mark Wahlberg sporting their latest purchases online, trainers are big business. Now scammers are taking advantage of the clamor for the latest models, with reports of scams doubling this year.

Lloyds Bank says the volume of such customer reports has soared 112% this year on the previous year, with victims losing an average of £152. The figures are based on analysis of shopping scams reported by Lloyds Banking Group customers between January 2022 and April 2022, with comparisons made to data from the same period last year.

Purchasing scams involve people being tricked into transferring money for goods or services, often advertised online or through social media, which may not exist or are of poor quality or fake. Sneaker and shoe scams are the most frequently reported type of shopping scam Lloyds says it sees.

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While scammers will advertise any brand they believe could trick an unsuspecting victim, Lloyds said analysis of reported cases has shown Nike to be among the popular brands that merchandise scammers can falsely claim sale. Meanwhile, ticket scams have also exploded this year as people want to attend events following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

The number of purchase scams involving electrical appliances has also risen by more than a third so far this year, with an average loss of £174. Lloyds says the Dyson Airwrap styling tool is among the most commonly reported items in this category today.

Liz Ziegler, director of retail fraud and financial crime, Lloyds Bank, said: “Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to cheat victims with their hard-earned money, and with designer trainers among the latest must-have items targeted, criminals are ready to get away as soon as they get their hands on your money. Shopping scams come in all shapes and sizes, but the vast majority start with items advertised on social media, where it’s too easy for scammers to use fake profiles and advertise items that do not exist.

“When shopping online, the best way to stay safe is to buy from a trusted retailer whenever possible and always pay by card for the best protection. If you are unable to doing these things should be a big red flag that you are about to get scammed.

Lloyds tips to stay safe from shopping scams:

– Use your debit or credit card when shopping online to protect your money in case something goes wrong.

– Fraudsters often use social networks to post fraudulent offers. They can even send them straight to your inbox. Always search for offers yourself.

– Check any offer sent by SMS or email to make sure it is genuine. Call the sender to find out using a trusted number, not necessarily the one in the message, or visit the website to verify. Never click on a link without checking first.

– Low prices and bargains can hide scams. See if you can find them elsewhere. And remember, if an item sells, scammers may charge more to fool desperate buyers.

– Make sure a seller or website is genuine. Look for good reviews from different buyers. Beware of mixed, bad or non-existent reviews.

– Ask questions before buying. If an item is expensive, offer to pay a deposit. If a seller can’t provide details about an item or tries to rush you to pay, it could be a scam.

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Darryl A. Chapin