Santander warns of 'scam' after Wilko closing

Santander warns of 'scam' after Wilko closing

Santander has issued another scam warning to customers who have collectively lost more than 30 million pounds since last month. Fraudsters are reportedly targeting bargain hunters looking to make big savings in clearance sales. These fake deals are often advertised in social media or through fake websites, often pretending to be from brands that are in the news. More than 5,000 disputes have been raised, involving merchants set up by scammers in the past month alone. Said disputes came from criminals pretending to be companies having closing-down sales or clearances.

Notably, scammers taking advantage of the news that Wilko is closing down, Santander said. This exploitation by criminals was evident and cases doubled from 869 in the week beginning August 14 to around 1,700 as of August 21. Over this period, many customers discovered that their effort to secure substantial savings was, in fact, a scam. The number of victims remained high, with over 2,200 cases in the last week of August, according to the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In this week, around £85,000 was lost to this convincing scam, with customers losing around £37 each on average. As a result of Wilko closing, Chris Ainsley, Santander's head of Fraud risk management, explains why situations like Wilko closing give scammers the opportunity to steal your cash. As a result, customers see the news that big retailers have closed shops as an opportunity to try and turbocharge their own closing down or clearance sale scams.