‘Christmas 2017 set to be the most fraudulent on record’ warn Barclays

Christmas concerns
Christmas concerns

Barclays bank are warning shoppers to be extra cautious when buying gifts online after new data revealed that this Christmas looks set to be the most fraudulent on record.

The latest research from the high street bank has revealed the true cost of online scams over the festive period with the average victim losing £893 to scammers – twice the average Christmas budget for presents, food, drink and entertainment.

This figures equates to £1.3 billion lost throughout the UK.

And with more than a quarter (26 per cent) of online scams happening over the Christmas period shoppers are being urged to improve their awareness of cyber crime to stay safe during the festive season.

Shoppers must be more vigilant

Samantha White, who leads Barclays’ work to keep customers safe from fraudsters, said: “While families across the UK are preparing to enjoy the festive season, criminals are getting ready to pounce on anyone who lets their guard down.

“Buying your gifts online may be more convenient, but with Christmas 2017 set to be the most fraudulent on record, online shoppers must be more vigilant than ever. Beat the fraudsters by looking out for the typical warning signs such as the padlock symbol on retailers’ websites.”

The research also found how vulnerable online shoppers are with almost four in ten (38 per cent) online shoppers admitting they either don’t know, or aren’t sure, how to identify a secure website when shopping online and only 58 per cent said they feel confident about their online security around the Christmas period.

The Barclays #BarclaysDigiSafe team have shared their top advice for staying safe from scammers this Christmas.

- Look out for the padlock symbol and ‘https’ in the address bar on retailers’ websites

- Watch out for deals that look too good to be true

- Never use public Wi-Fi to purchase Christmas shopping online

- Never give out your PIN or online banking password – legitimate websites won’t ask for it.

- Keep an eye on your bank balance so that you can spot and report fraudulent transactions quickly