Christmas shoppers warned online criminals are 'getting ready to pounce'

Christmas shoppers warned online criminals are 'getting ready to pounce'

Christmas shoppers are being warned to watch out for online scams, as research suggests fraudsters are particularly likely to strike during the festive season.

A survey of people who have been scammed found that in more than a quarter (26%) of cases, it happened at Christmas.

Victims lost £893 (€1000) on average, according to research from Barclays - which is more than double the average Christmas shopping budget at £422 (€472).

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

With shopping bonanzas such as Black Friday approaching, the research found that nearly two-fifths (38%) of people said they do not know or are not sure how to identify a secure website when shopping online.

Just over half (58%) of online shoppers in general said they feel safe buying on the internet around the Christmas period.

The research included a general survey of more than 2,000 adults as well as an additional survey of 1,700 people who have been scammed.

    Here are some tips from the BarclaysDigiSafe team to stay safe while shopping online:

  • Look out for the padlock symbol and "https" in the address bar on retailers' websites.
  • Watch out for deals that look "too good to be true".
  • Do not use public Wi-Fi to purchase Christmas shopping online.
  • Never give out your Pin or online banking password - legitimate websites will not ask for it.
  • Keep an eye on your bank balance so that you can spot and report fraudulent transactions quickly.

More on this topic

Revenue warns bank and credit card details of 3,000 online tax accounts may have been scammedRevenue warns bank and credit card details of 3,000 online tax accounts may have been scammed

Revenue issues warning about scam textsRevenue issues warning about scam texts

Gardaí warn iTunes gift card scam has resurfacedGardaí warn iTunes gift card scam has resurfaced

Gardaí issue warning to public of Netflix 'fraud' attempt Gardaí issue warning to public of Netflix 'fraud' attempt


More in this Section

Agriculture group says beef trade with China must resume at earliest opportunityAgriculture group says beef trade with China must resume at earliest opportunity

Four out of five Ryanair passengers still waiting for refunds – surveyFour out of five Ryanair passengers still waiting for refunds – survey

Irish economy set to experience largest annual decline in its historyIrish economy set to experience largest annual decline in its history

Mike Ashley fails in bid to trigger investigation into struggling DebenhamsMike Ashley fails in bid to trigger investigation into struggling Debenhams


Lifestyle

Another week, another fiendishly fun test of your arts and showbiz knowledge from Irish Examiner Arts Editor Des O'DriscollScene & Heard: Fun culture quiz

More From The Irish Examiner