Purchase scams have more than doubled so far this year as fraudsters use designer trainers and offers of event tickets to dupe victims, according to Lloyds Bank (LLOY.L).
The high street bank said the volume of these reports made by customers had soared by 112% this year so far compared with a year earlier, with victims losing £152 on average.
Purchase scams involve people being tricked into transferring money for goods or services, often advertised online or via social media, that may not exist or are shoddy or fake.
Trainers and shoe scams are the most commonly reported type of purchase scam that Lloyds said it was seeing.
The figures suggest that Nike is one of the most common labels currently being used to promote this type of scam.
Tickets scams had also exploded this year, as people were keen to attend events following the easing of COVID-related restrictions.
While the overall number of ticket scams being reported was lower than some other items, the number of cases being reported had rocketed by 603% already this year, Lloyds said.
The average amount lost was £251, with football matches and concerts the events most likely to appear in fake adverts.
The number of purchase scams involving electrical goods is also up by over a third already this year, with £174 the average amount lost. Dyson Airwraps are amongst the most common items being reported in this category at the moment.
Liz Ziegler, retail fraud and financial crime director, at Lloyds Bank, said: “Fraudsters are always on the lookout for new ways to trick victims out of their hard-earned cash, and with designer trainers amongst the latest must-have items being targeted, the criminals are ready to hotfoot it away as soon as they have their hands on your money.
“Purchase scams come in all shapes and sizes, but the vast majority start with items advertised on social media, where it’s all too easy for fraudsters to use fake profiles and advertise items that don’t exist.
“When shopping online, the best way to keep safe is to buy from a trusted retailer whenever possible, and always pay by card for the greatest protection. If you’re unable to do those things, that should be a big red flag that you’re about to get scammed.”
Some other purchase scams which spiked earlier on in the pandemic, such as puppies and games consoles, had dropped off this year, the bank said.
This could reflect a change in tactics by fraudsters, as with people’s lifestyles and routines readjusting after lockdown, demand may now be falling.
Watch: How to avoid Cyber Criminals