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