AS shoppers look for bargains over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Dorset Police is urging people to take care and consider whether some deals are too good to be true.

In the run up to Christmas, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become two of the biggest shopping days of the year, with many retailers offering enticing discounts.

Black Friday, which originated in the United States of America to mark the day after Thanksgiving, takes place on Friday, November 26, Cyber Monday falls on Monday, November 29.

Unfortunately, these days also gives potential criminals the opportunity to scam victims with fraudulent offers.

Detective inspector Andrew Kennard, tactical lead for fraud at Dorset Police, said: “Many people love getting a deal, but sometimes they can be too good to be true.

“Being targeted by fraudsters can be terrible at any time, but especially in the run up to Christmas. Unfortunately, there are people who will use the goodwill of the season to target people when their defences might be a little lower.

“Don’t get caught out. Always buy from a reputable retailer, never disclose banking or security details, and don’t part with any money if your instincts are telling you that something doesn’t feel right.

“If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to action fraud by visiting or calling 0300 123 2040.”

Dorset Police will be using Cyber Monday as an opportunity to share information and tips for how to keep yourself safe online. As well as safe shopping tips, there will be information for businesses, how to keep your kids safe online, and more.

Chris Conroy, cyber crime protect and prevention officer at Dorset Police, said: “Many of us don’t realise just how much information we’re making available online. We want to equip people with knowledge and practical tips to stop criminals exploiting this.

“Cyber Monday is a great opportunity for us to share this information with our communities to help them feel safe and secure online.”

David Sidwick, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Tackling and preventing fraud and cyber crime is one of the key focus areas of my Police and Crime Plan.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a fraudsters paradise – so I would ask everyone who shops online to take a moment, review their security measures and the way they share personal details when engaging with others on the internet.”