Online Fraud Fears Over Christmas Shopping

17 November 2017, 07:11

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Almost two thirds of Scots worry about their credit or debit card details being stolen while they shop online, new research has found.

The Barclays research also found that a fifth (21%) of Scots have fallen victim to an online scam or fraud.

However, more than a third (36%) of online shoppers across Scotland told researchers they either don't know, or aren't sure, how to identify a secure website when shopping online.

Online shoppers are being urged to be "more vigilant than ever", with this Christmas likely to be one of the most fraudulent ever for online shoppers, with fraud and scams becoming increasingly sophisticated.

More than a quarter (26%) of online scams in the UK happen over the Christmas period, costing victims an average £893, more than twice the average Christmas budget for presents, food, drink and entertainment.

Samantha White, who leads Barclays' work to keep customers safe from fraudsters, said: "While families across the UK are preparing to enjoy the festive season, criminals are getting ready to pounce on anyone who lets their guard down.

"Buying your gifts online may be more convenient, but with Christmas 2017 set to be the most fraudulent on record, online shoppers must be more vigilant than ever. Beat the fraudsters by looking out for the typical warning signs such as the padlock symbol on retailers' websites."

While 60% of the 201 Scots questioned worry about their credit or debit card details being stolen, 59% have concerns over their bank account being hacked whilst Christmas shopping online.

Of those in Scotland who fell victim to an online scam, almost a third (31%) were buying from a website that is well-known, and more than a fifth (22%) ordered from a website that they regularly purchase items from.

Only 24% were aware that they should check for the padlock authentication symbol on the payment page, while just 22% knew to ensure that the web address started with 'https'.

Barclays advises people never to use public Wi-Fi to do Christmas shopping online, and never to give out their PIN or online banking password.

It also urges people to keep an eye on their bank balance so that they can spot and report fraudulent transactions quickly.

Across the UK, it is estimated that festive fraud victims will lose around £1.3 billion in total this year.

The research was carried out online by Opinium in September.