It’s estimated that people will see an extra 10 million malicious URLs, files, and apps on Christmas and New Year’s Day, according to McAfee Labs
Luxury brand scams have surged since September, including spikes of 600% over normal seasonal levels, says McAfee Labs data. Scammers lure customers into clicking links or sharing payment details by offering enticing discounts on coveted items from brands such as Louis Vuitton, Ray-Ban and Rolex
Recent consumer survey conducted by McAfee also reveals that over a fifth of UK shoppers have been the victim of an online scam during the festive shopping period and 61% lost money as a result
Britons have been advised that while the Black Friday weekend is over, they should remain vigilant to scams as an additional 10 million online threats will arise on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
That’s according to new insights from McAfee Labs, the threat research arm of online protection company, McAfee.
Since the second week in October, McAfee has detected and blocked as many as 300,000 online shopping-related threats per day and McAfee Labs researchers are expecting a 30% increase in customer encounters with malicious sites on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and January 2nd (New Year’s Day observed).
While fake online deals tend to be the most prevalent type of scam, a recent consumer survey from McAfee revealed that the most believed type of scam is a fake delivery message. With many Brits awaiting their online orders, McAfee says it’s critical to go direct to the source to track or divert packages.
Brits should also watch closely for luxury brand deals that seem too good to be true. Starting in September, McAfee has seen a surge in luxury brand scams, including spikes of 600% over normal seasonal levels. Scammers lure customers into clicking links or sharing payment details by offering enticing discounts on coveted items from brands such as Louis Vuitton, Ray-Ban, and Rolex.
According to the McAfee consumer study, 1 in 5 Brits have previously been the victim of a scam during the festive shopping period and over half of Brits (52%) think that scam emails and messages will be more believable than ever thanks to the acceleration of AI.
The five most believable scam messages to watch out for, based on the top cons Brits have fallen for, are:
- Fake missed delivery, or delivery problem, notification (36%)
- “You’ve won a prize!” (34%)
- Alert message claiming to be from the recipient’s bank (27%)
- Information about a purchase the recipient didn’t make (24%)
- Sign in and location verification messages (22%)
“It’s critical that Brits online safety and data privacy top of mind throughout the Christmas period, to keep the holidays merry and avoid the cyber grinch,” says Vonny Gamot, Head of EMEA at McAfee.
“With an additional 10 million online threats expected on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, it’s never been more important to cast a sceptical eye over any festive deals or unexpected order and delivery updates. Even if an email or text looks legitimate, it’s always best to go direct to the source, whether it’s an online retailer or delivery provider.”