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Consumers warned of mobile shopping scams

12 December 2013 - 10:45 by Graham Miller

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Security software vendor, McAfee, has released a new video in which it details 12 of the most common scams which face consumers in the run-up to Christmas.

Two of the top issues it highlights relate to mobile phones, which is relevant, given that a growing number of people now shop online from portable devices.

Firstly, people are advised to be weary of downloadable applications which may look official, but could actually contain malware designed to steal the personal information which is stored on your smartphone.

Apps which promote online shopping and even appear to feature the promotional backing of famous people could well be scams, so checking up on user reviews, searching online for advice and sticking to official shopping apps is sensible if you want to avoid being stung.

The second issue raised is that of SMS scams, which allow hackers to take over Android handsets by tricking people into installing malicious software.

Links embedded in text messages sent out en masse can be a real issue and are particularly prevalent for people with Google's mobile operating system running on their smartphone. That is not to say that iOS, BlackBerry or Windows Phone users are not also at risk, so vigilance is important across the board.

Any deals which seem to offer preposterously good bargains are likely to be run by scammers who prey on the fact that people love getting items at a low asking price and are willing to overlook the dodge elements of a site or app, if they think they are getting a killer deal.

Enjoying shopping online from your PC, tablet or smartphone this year is possible, as long as you use the right retail sites and keep your wits about you when searching for items.