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Christmas e-commerce fraud increases

31 December 2016 - 09:51 by Simon Crisp

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Cybercrime does not stop for the holidays, with security experts reporting that more people were targeted during the Christmas break than ever before by gangs looking to steal personal information and earn cash illicitly, according to the Telegraph.

Norton Security spokesperson, Nick Shaw, said that because Christmas had become such a popular period for safe shopping online, it was much trickier for companies to keep tabs on which transactions are legitimate and which are fraudulent, leaving consumers at greater risk of being exploited.

Furthermore, the trend for discount codes, vouchers and offers which are used by retailers to encourage people to shop with them is also being used as a tactic to con innocent customers by digital fraudsters.

Shaw went on to cite a recent study conducted by his firm, which showed that even people who have fallen victim to cybercrime of some kind in the last 12 months will still take risks that could prevent them from being able to carry out totally safe shopping online.

Whether it is engaging with malicious emails, falling foul of phishing sites or clicking dodgy links on social media, a range of potentially problematic habits still exist within a large swathe of the British population. And many security campaigners believe that more should be done to educate people about the threats they face.

Earlier this month, Amazon had to issue a statement relating to the raft of fake emails being sent to customers of its UK site to try and trick them into giving away private details. Experts warn that part of the problem is that consumers now expect everything they buy online to come with the opportunity of a further discount on the asking price, which gives crooks the leverage they need to set up phoney campaigns like this.