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‘Most risky’ Christmas gift list published

November 26th 2014

We at Get Safe Online, together with Barclays and Kaspersky, have drawn up the most ‘Risky Christmas Gift List’ in a bid to prevent honest consumers falling victim to Christmas cybercrimes this year. According to police figures from Christmas 2013, mobile phones were the most popular online purchase targeted by fraudsters trying to lure in victims.  We are all urging you to stay vigilant when shopping online and think before splashing out on ‘too good to be true’ bargains online.

For general information and advice on keeping safe online this Christmas, click here

The top five most risky items for Christmas shoppers are:

1. Mobile/smart phones –specifically iPhones and Samsung Galaxys

2. Games consoles – specifically PlayStation 4 and Xbox One 

3. Footwear – specifically Ugg Boots

4. Clothing – specifically Barbour Jackets

5. iPads – and iPad minis

Last year, reports of online shopping fraud during the Christmas period rose by 31%, leaving UK shoppers out of pocket by £9.5 million and individuals, on average, losing £113 each*. These figures are based on reported crime figures from police forces across the UK. However, recent research** suggests that only a third (32%) of people will actually report an online crime to police suggesting the amount lost last Christmas could have exceeded £28 million.

Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online commented: “With Cyber Monday on 1st December set to be yet another record breaking day for online Christmas shopping, we felt it was important to highlight the most risky items, not to deter consumers from enjoying the benefits of shopping online, but to educate them on what they can do to prevent being caught out by online scammers.  

“Every Christmas, without fail, we see worrying statistics about people being scammed online. We urge everyone in the UK to just spend a few minutes familiarising themselves with the scams out there and learning what they need do to keep safe so they don’t end up being a victim this Christmas. We know that Christmas is a busy and stressful time for people so we are urging people to just keep the basics in mind and look out for those bargains that just seem too good to be true.”

David Emm, Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab said: “Online security can seem like a real minefield to consumers, and the temptation can be to be overwhelmed and not know where to start with securing yourself. However, by following a few simple guidelines, consumers can dramatically increase their security.  Simple things like ensuring your passwords are different and complex can prevent fraudsters from accessing your accounts, and making Christmas a nightmare. My other key piece of advice would be to just take a second to consider the website you’re buying from, or the link you are clicking on. Is it really as good as it seems? Think before you click. ”

Alex Grant, Managing Director, Fraud Prevention at Barclays, said: “Many of us will avoid the cold weather and battling with the festive queues, to enjoy the comfort of armchair shopping as we prepare for Christmas and search for those essential gifts and bargains.

“As shopping online increases over the coming weeks, consumers will be faced with a high level of threat to their personal and financial information as they hit the online stores. Taking some simple fraud smart steps can help consumers avoid giving fraudsters a gift this Christmas. Do some research before you buy and always check a website is secure before entering your details. Protecting your computer with up-to-date internet security software also helps to keep your financial information safe and Barclays offers all Online Banking customers free access to Kaspersky’s award-winning suite of products.”

To ensure that British consumers are protected when they shop online, Barclays offers the award-winning Kaspersky Internet Security, Kaspersky Internet Security for Android and Kaspersky internet Security for Mac free of charge to all its Online and Mobile Banking customers.

Top tips on how to protect yourself whilst shopping online this festive season:

1. Keep contact details up to date: ensure your bank has up-to-date mobile/telephone contact numbers for you so they can speak to you if they spot unusual or suspicious activity on your account.

2. Get up to date security software: make sure your computer and your web-enabled phone are protected with up-to-date internet security software.

3. Look for the ‘s’: Always ensure when transacting online that the URL starts https rather than just http, or has the gold padlock icon in the browser bar, and use only official apps for mobile banking.

4. Treat all unsolicited emails with caution: don’t click on links or open attachments in emails you weren’t expecting or are not sure about. Only ever access your internet banking or shopping sites by typing the address into your browser - never go to a website from a link in an email and then enter personal details.

5. Use strong passwords: passwords should have a mix of letters (upper and lower case) numbers and symbols – avoid obvious things like your name, birthday, pets name or phone number that others can easily guess.

6. Be cautious with online auctions: for higher value items, such as cars and other vehicles, make sure you always see the items before sending any money and always use the insured methods of payment for the internet site rather than direct payments to a seller. Log out after shopping and save the confirmation email as a record of your purchase, and make sure you have registered your cards with Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode.

*Figures from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB)

**Research commissioned by Get Safe Online and One Poll in October 2014 as part of Get Safe Online’s annual awareness week


By Get Safe Online