Tag Archives: Christmas shopping

Fighting Fraud

The nights are now drawing in fast, mince pies have made their way onto the shelves and all the big Christmas ads have started appearing on the television. The festive season is fast approaching and with it comes the annual task of getting all the Christmas shopping done in time.
With big crowds and hoards of shoppers, whether on the high street or online, sadly it’s a time when we could all be at risk of falling victim to fraud, more so than at any other time of year.

Fraudsters continue to think of new ways to get hold of our money but the best way to prevent it from happening is to learn more about what the different types of fraud are and how we can avoid them from happening to us. Bearing that in mind, NatWest have recently launched a tool all about fraud that could be useful.


It takes a look at the top 11 most common types of fraud that cost the UK millions and provides some great tips on how to stay safe from fraudsters.

Some top tips:

• When shopping online, make sure you only ever enter your details onto a secure site. You can identify a secure page when you see the letters ‘https’ at the beginning of the URL as opposed to simply ‘http’.
• Be alert whenever you use an ATM machine. If anything looks suspicious, find somewhere else to get cash and though it sounds obvious, always remember to shield your PIN. If your card is ever swallowed by the machine, let your card issuer know immediately as it may be a fraudster that’s behind this.
• Make sure you check your bank statement regularly. If any suspicious activity is going on, you can ensure that you notice it quickly and put a stop to it immediately.


Find Big Christmas Presents for Little Money


 Unfortunately, Christmas brings with it certain expectations no matter what the financial climate is like at the time. This Christmas you may want to tighten your belt but still get the gifts that your family deserve. The internet has a wealth of opportunities to allow you to save money while still putting smiles on your family’s faces. Here are a few tips on where to shop and what to get to deliver the big gestures without having to break the bank.


Clearance Sales

You can seek out real bargains on online electronics suppliers such as Hispek who stock a wide range of clearance televisions. Most online clothing stores also have clearance sections where you can find great garments for a fraction of their original price.

Black Friday

Look out for this special date during your Christmas shopping. Friday 28th November will see the biggest and best online shops slash prices to give unparalleled discounts on all sorts of products. Amazon have traditionally been the biggest advocate of Black Friday since it moved over to the UK from America where shops use the Friday after Thanksgiving as one of the biggest sales days of the year. Shops like Argos, Debenhams and John Lewis have since followed suit knocking large fractions off electronic items, toys and interior décor pieces.


 Auction Sites

Sites like Ebay are great for bagging a bargain but you have to be clever when bidding. The automatic system tool allows you to set a ceiling amount and outbids any competitor so you don’t have to do it manually each time a new bid comes in. Using this system may prevent you from getting carried away and blowing your budget before anyone has even challenged your bid. A top tip here is to bid an odd amount such as £20.07 which may pip you over your rival bidder. There is also ‘sniping’ software available which places your bid at the very last minute although this involved sharing your bank details with a third party which is generally not advisable.

Make Your Own

An alternative to shopping for that perfect gift that says everything you want to say is to make your own. Nothing will carry a stronger message than a present you have created as one-off especially for a particular person. You could create unique gifts such as calendars, mugs and wall art using your own photographs by going to websites such as Snapfish.

Bargain Breaks

An unusual and thoughtful gift for your other half and family would be a short break for all of you. Skip the post-Christmas blues by getting away from the winter cold and warming your bones in foreign climes. Websites such as Lastminute.com as well as the majority of travel agents have cheap deals for a variety of destinations and packages.


%d bloggers like this: