Expert Advice To UK Shoppers Lost £15m+ To Scammers Last Winter

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Rob.griffin
Rob.griffin , CEO
InfoSec Expert
November 15, 2022 12:16 pm

The holiday season, for hackers at least, is hunting season. With shoppers scrambling to grab a bargain, keep track of countless orders and find the perfect gifts for their loved ones, it’s perhaps understandable that so many – even the most internet-savvy among them – fall foul of opportunistic scammers. 

However, to avoid falling prey to scams this holiday season, there are a few precautions shoppers can take.

Watch out for fake order scams – When ordering multiple items across multiple retailers, keeping track of them all can be tricky. Cybercriminals like to take advantage of this, sending phishing emails disguised as “track my order” messages. To avoid falling foul of this type of scam, look for a few tell-tale signs that the email is a fake. First, ensure that the email sender’s address is one you recognise, or is genuinely from a customer service desk. Then make sure that the email reads well, and doesn’t contain any broken English. Finally, never click on a link you’re suspicious of. If in doubt, head directly to the retailer’s website to track your orders.

Check for fake websites – Fake websites mimic legitimate ones with the intent of stealing shopper’s card details. The main indicator of a fake website is the URL – shoppers should scrutinise the URL to ensure there’s no typos, for example “tescu.com”, or something similar. The website itself may also be an indicator of a scam – check for spelling errors, inconsistencies, or anything else that seems off.

Don’t be tempted by an exceedingly good offer – Although this time of year is prime bargain season, shoppers should still be suspicious of deals that look a little too cheap – it’s a classic trick fraudsters use to get you to buy!

Buy from retailers with strong authentication – Passwords are the grand prize for cybercriminals – if they get hold of that, they get hold of everything. Shoppers should look for retailers that implement multi-factor authentication to ensure that their information is protected, even if their password has fallen into the wrong hands. The best retailers will have single-step MFA in place, meaning that shoppers enjoy the security of MFA, without having to mess about with a SMS or email code.

Last edited 22 days ago by rob.griffin
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