Black Friday Safe Shopping Top Ten Tips
MORAY Council’s Trading Standards team is offering up their top 10 tips for shopping safely and hassle-free online as Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach:
- Start your shopping early to ensure that presents arrive on time. The law says that, unless otherwise agreed, online retailers have 30 days to deliver your goods.
- When shopping online, you usually have a 14-day cancellation period which allows you to cancel the contract. There are exceptions to this, including personalised or perishable goods, or items bought from a private individual.
- If you do exercise your right to cancel, online retailers must refund the full cost plus the original delivery charge, although you may be required to pay the cost of returning the item. Traders may not charge a restocking or administrative fee if you cancel within your 14-day cancellation period.
- Don’t know the company? Before you buy, take a minute to search for company reviews on the internet. Where are they based? There should be a postal address on the website. Do not assume that it’s a UK-based company because it has .uk in the web address.
- Found what you want at a really low price? Could it be counterfeit? Fake goods are usually poor quality and could be unsafe.
- Only order from secure sites with the padlock symbol in the address bar. The address should begin with https://.
- Having problems with delivery charges because of your postcode? Check out the Delivery Law website at www.deliverylaw.uk for more advice.
- If you receive goods that are not of satisfactory quality, you have a 30-day right to reject them and get a full refund.
- Consider using a credit card for purchases over £100 for added protection under s.75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
- Remember – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
If you need more advice on a purchase you’ve made, contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0300 123 4561 or email Moray Council’s Trading Standards team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whilst reading these tips on how to keep yourself safe when shopping online please read the information below on how to keep the Council safe from fraud and corruption.
Keeping the Council safe from fraud and corruption: a few tips from the Corporate Integrity Group
Officers from a number of different departments sit on the council’s Corporate Integrity Group . The group tries to improve the council’s resilience to crime, fraud and corruption by keeping an overview of current threats, and the councils policies and procedures designed to combat them. Here are some tips from the group:
Be wary of telephone or email scams.
There have been a few cases recently where staff have been tricked into fraudulent phishing (email) or vishing (phone) scams.
- You could receive an email, which on the face of it looks genuine, asking you to open an attachment which could compromise the Council’s IT system. Something may not quite look right about an email. So be vigilant.
- You could be asked by a supplier to change the bank account details which we pay them through. But it may be not be the real supplier who has made the request. If in doubt phone them up to check it is them. There is further guidance from our payments section [add link].
Payments to others
Make sure that you have a system of checks and balances for payments to others, and that more than one person is involved in a process.
Receiving unsolicited gifts and conflicts of interest.
Be wary if a supplier, contractor, business acquaintance or applicant offers you a gift, reduction or special terms. This could be anything from a bottle of whisky to covering attendance costs at an event. They may be trying to influence future decisions or a regulatory process. If you are in doubt about whether about whether you can accept a gift, speak to your manager. Make sure any gifts are declared in line with the Council’s policy: http://interchange.moray.gov.uk/int_standard/Page_112699.html
Good housekeeping with confidential information.
- Keep a tidy desk, an organised filing system and make sure confidential information is secure.
- As a general rule, only people who need to know information should have access to it.
- Be careful with names, addresses and sensitive records. If you are sending out a letter, double check that you have the right addressee.
- Keep a record of what IT/records systems each staff member has access to. When you recruit make sure that adequate data protection training is given and when staff leave, make sure that you recover all equipment, ID badges and remove all system permissions and passwords.
Be mindful of building security
And a final one – try and keep your ID badge visible when you are in a council building. If you see an unfamiliar face without a badge, don’t be afraid to ask them if they need help.
Make sure visitors to the building are escorted at all times, otherwise get a temporary ID badge for them.