BLACK Friday shoppers are being warned to watch out for an Instagram scam that cons customers out of hundreds of pounds.
Fraudsters trick Instagrammers with fake adverts offering rare or custom made trainers.
The adverts look like they're from legitimate sellers, who you have to direct message if you want to buy the kicks.
Shortly after starting the conversation and placing your order, you're then asked to make an online payment using a platform, CashApp or Venmo.
After making the payment, buyers are often left waiting weeks for shoes that never turn up.
But instead of disappearing the "business" looks are still active and you can still contact them to ask for a refund.
How to protect yourself from fraudsters
ACTION Fraud recommends taking the following advice to stay safe:
- When making a purchase, be suspicious of any requests to pay by bank transfer or virtual currency instead of safer methods, such as credit card or payment services such as PayPal.
- Listen to your instincts: If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Don’t pay for goods or services unless you know and trust the individual or business.
- Personal information obtained from data breaches is making it increasingly easier for fraudsters to create highly targeted phishing messages and calls - watch out for these.
- You shouldn’t assume the caller is genuine just because they’re able to provide some basic details about you.
- Always be suspicious of unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information.
Sometimes, the seller will reply and offer you your money back although it never materialises.
The warning has been issued by Better Business Bureau, a marketplace based in the US.
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One shopper reported that after several attempts to get a refund, "the merchant blocked me on social media where I originally contacted him and he also blocked my number, making me unable to call him or any [of his] associates."
Karla Davis, Manager for Community and Public Relations at BBB, urged shoppers not to fall for "attractive photographs" or video testimonials.
She said: "Fraudsters are using social media posts or sponsored ads to lure consumers to fake retailer websites that collect credit card information or trick them into spending money for items that they are likely to never receive."
"Scams are not allowed on Instagram," a Facebook, who owns Instagram, spokesperson told The Sun.
"We proactively fight against fraudulent activity and invest heavily in technologies to identify and remove this type of content.
"We encourage anyone to report content they think is against our guidelines using our in-app tools."
More on Black Friday
Hundreds of malicious apps and websites will be looking to steal shoppers' personal details and credit card information by copying the branding of well-known retailers throughout the spending spree, experts have warned.
Only a few days ago, Amazon shoppers were warned about a Black Friday scam circulating on WhatsApp which offered massive discounts on goods.
But luckily for shoppers, there are steps you can take to be better protected and still be able to enjoy the hunt for good deals over the weekend.