THIS Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it won’t just be shoppers chasing down the best deals.
Criminals are also hoping for an early Christmas gift – by targeting online bargain-hunters.
During the pandemic, we’ve all gotten used to the convenience of shopping online. You can get great deals, delivered right to your door.
But, as we’re all shopping online more, the scammers are using different tricks to catch us out: stealing our bank details, or selling us non-existent goods.
So to protect our wallets we should all be clued up on how to spot the traps.
Through the National Cyber Security Centre, the government is working hard to stop the hackers in their tracks, and protect people and businesses everywhere.
Just last year, they took down 700,595 phishing campaigns, fifteen times more than in the previous year.
So far in 2021 it has uncovered over 4,000 online stores where the payment pages have been ‘skimmed’ – meaning the criminals can read and steal customers’ card details as they enter them at the checkout.
This new wave of cunning criminals will stop at nothing to steal our hard-earned cash, but with the right precautions we can help protect ourselves online.
The best place to start is the government’s Cyber Aware website www.ncsc.gov.uk for great tips and tricks on how to avoid most of the common scams.
This can be as simple as checking for a padlock symbol in the web address bar when it’s time to pay – meaning your connection and details are secure.
You can also protect your fellow shoppers. If you spot an email which doesn’t seem quite right, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can look into it. So far we’ve had more than 8 million emails reported to us that way.
This festive season, don’t be left out of pocket, or spend money on presents you’ll never receive. Be cyber aware.