Posted 19 December 2023
Being cyber aware when Christmas shopping
During the holiday season, there are numerous online sales and offers, presenting a great opportunity to snag some deals. However, this period also serves as a prime opportunity for cyber scammers. They continually devise new methods to deceive unaware shoppers, aiming to separate them from their money. As per the National Cyber Security Centre, individuals who fell victim to a Christmas cyber scam in 2021 faced an average cost of £1,000.
Throughout the holiday season, many of us will be receiving parcel deliveries. Fraudulent emails and text messages posing as authentic businesses and discussing pending deliveries serve as a typical tactic for criminals to entice individuals into clicking on links and visiting fake websites. Remaining vigilant and verifying the source of emails or messages is crucial. Always refrain from clicking on or replying to messages if there’s any uncertainty about the sender or what the message is about.
Fraudulent websites mimicking real websites are another common scam, along with fake charity campaigns and social media shopping cons. You should always check things like URLs or email addresses and think twice before clicking, because if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you receive a phishing scam, you can report it to the National Cyber Security Centre by forwarding suspicious texts to 7726; forwarding suspicious emails to email@example.com; or reporting suspicious websites on the NCSC website.
If you fall victim to a cyber-attack where you’re defrauded, report it to Action Fraud and your local police force.