Most common January online sales scams revealed

In 2015, 594 million people worldwide were affected by online crime. Of those that fell victim to cyber-crime in 2015, one in seven UK victims had their financial information hijacked after shopping online. Of the 12 million Brits who fell victim to cyber-crime this past year, over 10 percent claimed that their identity was stolen.

That's according to Norton's Cyber-security Insights Report which revealed the most frequent scams with online fraudsters during the online sales in January. They include:

  • Click and Receive — Be wary of emails that say you have received a package you aren't expecting, especially if you didn't directly order it. Also beware of message that ask you to provide personal information.
  • Offer Alert — Online vouchers, codes and too-good-too-be-true offers that will lead you to a malicious website and ask you for credit card and other personal information.
  • Text phishing — Scammers sometimes send texts to fake a warning to people of suspicious activity in their bank account and ask them to call a bogus number where they'll be prompted to share personal information. Vishing can happen as well. It's just like phishing, but occurs on the phone.
  • Fake Refunds — Watch out for spam phishing emails for fake refunds that can appear as though it's from a true retailer and say something along the lines of “wrong transaction” or “click for refund”.
  • Fake Websites — Fakes shopping sites rely on shoppers mistyping the true web addresses of popular websites or clicking on messages from fake vendors that have a similar address. Slow down and check what you've typed.

Norton also provided some tips to stay safe while shopping online: 

  1. Don't fall for the cheap price tag and shop only at trustworthy online sites 
  2. Be wary of fake website links 
  3. Be smart with your passwords 
  4. Organise your online shopping 
  5. Protect your financial details 
  6. Avoid using public or shared computers 
  7. Check that your internet security software is updated 
  8. Check your credit card statements.