How To Avoid Online Scams This Christmas


As Christmas approaches, experts highlight the dangers of shopping online with unknown retailers.

As many as one in five online shoppers are expected to fall victim to a scam in the run-up to Christmas, with an estimated £190 being lost on average. Shoppers may receive fake items, or no item at all, and run the risk of losing thousands of pounds depending on the transaction.

Tips For Online Security

While the internet is a more convenient method of shopping, in shoppers’ rush to to buy last minute gifts, there can be a lapse in judgement, leaving them more susceptible to visiting unscrupulous websites. There are a number of ways you can decrease your chances of being scammed online and ruining yours and your family’s Christmas.

  1. Ask a friend or family member to take a look at the website in question if you are unsure. Another person may spot a warning sign which you might not have.

  2. If a deal seems too good to be true, you should always be wary.

  3. Look for contact details. If a website is hiding contact details they may be difficult to get in touch with should something go wrong. Look for telephone numbers, physical addresses and email addresses.

  4. Research the company’s reputation and credibility using one of the many consumer advice sites. Trustpilot in particular is very useful for ratings, reviews and feedback.

  5. Paying for goods by credit card allows extra financial protections for items worth more than £100. If you encounter any issues with your purchase, you may receive a refund from your credit card provider, rather than having to chase up the supplier themselves. National fraud agency, Action Fraud, advise that there is currently no protection against fraud for those who pay via bank transfer.

  6. Be aware that even though there is a padlock symbol on websites, you can still be scammed. This signifies that the website is secure, not that the business is legitimate.

For more on online scams this Christmas, take a look at the article on the the This Is Money website.