Hack Friday: Over 10 million Brits victim of online shopping scams

Cybersecurity, News, Retail

Over 10 million Brits have fallen victim to online shopping scams, it was revealed today, as 19 million UK shoppers prepare to embark on the biggest bargain hunts of the year.

Research from cybersecurity company NordVPN can reveal that 20.7% of UK adults have been scammed while shopping online — equivalent to 10.6 million people.

With Black Friday just a couple of days away, cyber scammers have their sights on the four in five Brits who might take part in the event — 37.1% of UK shoppers say they’ll head online for Cyber Monday, Black Friday or the Christmas sales, with a further 40.9% still to decide.

The task of online criminals is being made easier by the millions of UK consumers prepared to offer up a treasure trove of personal information in exchange for an extra reduction or freebie — and those who have already been scammed are at the front of the queue.

Of those who have previously experienced a scam, many admit they’d still be prepared to hand over a bunch of bizarrely irrelevant information to get a big discount or freebie.

One in ten (12.1%) would hand over their credit card details, 4.3% would give their National Insurance number and one in ten (11.1%) would reveal where they worked. A further 3.9% would even reveal their children’s names for the chance to bag an extra bargain.

Those willing to disclose their credit card number were 57% more likely to have been scammed, while people willing to hand over their NI number were 40% more likely to have been victims.

All told, 94.2% of scam victims are still willing to hand over at least some personal data to land a bonus gift, discount or free service.

The study also revealed that 14.5% of Brits consider the security of websites is their lowest priority when shopping online while price is the biggest driver, with 39.6% of people choosing it as their main concern. 

Says Marijus Briedis, Chief Technology Officer at NordVPN:

“Black Friday is a honeypot for scammers so the 19 million Brits preparing to attack the biggest bargain hunts of the year had better be on their guard. 

“It’s vital to pay attention to the security certificates on websites and be wary of any site asking for details that they just don’t need. If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

Chris Price
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