WITH the busy Christmas shopping season now in full swing, many prefer to do their shopping online.
But The News’ consumer expert Richard Thomson is warning it is also a peak time for hackers and scammers.
Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting centre, has revealed online shoppers were swindled out of £58m in almost 43,000 fraud incidents last year. But there are steps that can be taken to avoid being ripped off:
- Stick to the big high street retail names if you can
- If you are tempted to buy from a small or unknown seller, always buy via an established marketplace
- Be alert to special offers too good to be true arriving by email or SMS. They frequently contain links designed to steal your login or bank details
- Ensure your software is up to date. Security updates close loopholes rogues use to gain access to your devices
- Use retailers’ mobile apps instead of websites to reduce the risk of being directed to a fake site
- Never use public wifi to place online orders. It’s a godsend to hackers who set up cloned websites to intercept passwords and credit card details
- Use a credit card rather than debit card to pay for online purchases. The card issuer may be equally liable if you’ve been stung