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Cyber security and law enforcement partners join together to issue warning ahead of Black Friday and Christmas sales.
BARGAIN HUNTERS are being urged to bolster their cyber security in the approach to the festive season after new figures revealed victims of online shopping scams lost on average £1,000 per person in the same period last year.
Scams ranged from one shopper losing more than £150 trying to purchase a mobile phone on social media to another being duped out of more than £7,000 during an attempted online campervan purchase. Meanwhile, another victim lost almost £500 when trying to buy shoes on a social media platform, and a fourth lost £145 trying to make a similar purchase.
The new figures from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) come as the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) - which is a part of GCHQ – launched a nationwide drive to promote its Cyber Aware campaign to help shoppers protect themselves online.
The Cyber Aware campaign advises simple steps for shoppers to reduce their risk of suffering similar losses during this year's Black Friday (25 November) and pre-Christmas period.
Anyone who think they have been a victim of fraud should contact their bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. More information is available by searching #FraudFreeXmas.
The figures, which come from reports made to Action Fraud and analysed by NFIB, showed that shoppers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland were scammed out of £15.3m between November 2021 and January 2022, and that the age group most likely to fall victim was 19 to 25-year-olds.
They also showed that average losses rose year on year. Between 1st November 2020 and 31st January 2021, the average loss per person was £549 including reports with no financial loss, while for the same period last year that figure increased to £775.
The findings from reports made to Action Fraud and analysed by the NFIB revealed that:
Action Fraud and the NCSC are urging online shoppers to protect their accounts, check before they buy, and use secure payment methods in order to stay ahead of the threat from criminals this shopping season: