34 Million Christmas Shoppers Prepare to Face the Fraudsters on Cyber Monday

Nov 27, 2013, 13:35 ET from Kaspersky Lab

ABINGDON, England, November 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Consumers urged to be more "netwise" as online sales reach pre-Christmas peak

  • Online fraud has cost UK shoppers £1.5bn since the last festive season
  • Four million online fraud victims in the UK a year with an average loss of £371
  • Barclays and Kaspersky Lab urge 33.6m online shoppers to be "netwise" this Christmas

As Christmas shopping frenzy Cyber Monday (December 2nd) approaches, research has found that British online shoppers have been victims of fraud totalling [i]£1.5bn in the past twelve months.

According to the research, conducted by Barclays and Kaspersky Lab, supporting partners of Getsafeonline.org, more than [ii]four million people have fallen victim to online fraud in the UK since last December, with an average loss of £371 per incident.

Online criminals could be set for a fraud field day on Cyber Monday, as [iii]33.6 million people plan to purchase their Christmas gifts online this year.

Despite online shopping becoming part of the fabric of life in the UK, there are still large numbers of consumers who have a naive attitude to the risk of fraud with over a quarter (27%) admitting that they don't take the precautionary measure to protect their finances online.

To prevent the festive period becoming a windfall for fraudsters, Barclays and Kaspersky Lab are encouraging the nation to be more netwise and to pay greater attention to their internet security.

Alex Grant, Managing Director, Fraud Prevention at Barclays, said: "As the number of people shopping online is set to peak this Monday - with 33.6 million of us planning to do our shopping on the web this Christmas - cyber-criminals will have a field day if precautions aren't taken. Our research has shown that internet shoppers will be faced with a high level of threat to their personal and financial information as they hit the online stores this Christmas."

"That's why we've teamed up with Kaspersky Lab to offer all our customers free access to their suite of products that keep financial information safe and have created a range of tools and advice working with Getsafeonline.org."

"If everyone takes some simple steps, we can all avoid giving fraudsters a gift this Christmas."

When it comes to taking precautions online, consumers should be following the cautious habits of older shoppers. While over eight in ten (82%) of over 55s take precautionary measures to protect their finances, just six in ten (62%) 18-24 year olds do the same.

Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online commented: "I've been talking to people about shopping safely online for years but every Christmas, without fail, I see worrying statistics about people being scammed online. £1.5 billion is a huge amount of money. The problem is, scams are evolving and getting more sophisticated all the time, they also change as trends come and go so it's understandable that people sometimes get caught out."

Not only does the older generation take the necessary steps to safeguard their online purchases, nearly nine in 10 (87%) say they always consider the risks of online fraud when making a purchase, compared to less than seven out of ten (68%) of their younger counterparts.

David Emm, Senior Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab said: "Fraud is not the only thing that will be putting Brits at risk when they hit the online stores this Christmas. In 2013 more than one in three people encountered malware when searching the web[iv]. With the anticipated spike in online shopping traffic in the run up to Christmas, this statistic must act as a red flag reminder that we need to protect ourselves against the variety of cyber threats we may face."

"The good news here is that the answer to protecting ourselves against these threats lies in common sense. There are simple tools and tricks we can all employ when shopping online to avoid risk - such as being mindful of where you log on to the Internet and keeping your personal information secure. It's not dissimilar to offline safety. It might be OK to walk alone at night - but it's risky. If we take the right precautions in the first place (for example taking well-lit routes, staying close to our friends), the risk reduces. We should adopt a similar common sense mindset when we shop online."

Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online continues: "At Get Safe Online we make it our responsibility to try and highlight new types of fraud as much as we can to keep shoppers safe online. What consumers need to do is keep the basics in mind as a good preventative measure. We know that Christmas is a busy and stressful time for people so we don't try and overwhelm people with over complicated advice. If you've managed to hunt down that perfect present that you've been traipsing round the high street for online, at a fraction of the cost, take a step back and think before you buy it. Is it too good to be true?"

To ensure that British consumers are protected when they shop online, Barclays offers the award-winning Kaspersky Internet Security Suite, Kaspersky Mobile Security Suite and Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Mac free of charge to all its Online and Mobile Banking customers.

Top tips on how to protect yourself whilst shopping online this festive season:

1. Keep contact details up to date: ensure your bank has up-to-date mobile/telephone contact numbers for you so they can speak to you if they spot unusual or suspicious activity on your account.

2. Get up to date security software: make sure your computer and your web-enabled phone are protected with up-to-date internet security software.

3. Look for the 'S':  only ever access your internet banking or shopping sites by typing the address into your browser - never go to a website from a link in an email and then enter personal details. Always ensure when transacting online that the URL starts HTTPS rather than HTTP, or has the gold padlock icon, and use only official apps for mobile banking.

4. Treat all unsolicited emails with caution: don't click on links or open attachments in emails you weren't expecting or are not sure about.

5. Use strong passwords: passwords should have a mix of letters (upper and lower case) numbers and symbols -avoid obvious things like your name, birthday or phone number that others can guess.

6. Be cautious with online auctions: for higher value items, such as cars and other vehicles, try to see the items before sending any money and always use the insured methods of payment for the internet site rather than direct payments to a seller. Log out after shopping and save the confirmation email as a record of your purchase, and make sure you have registered your cards with Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode.

For further information and tips on protecting yourself whilst shopping online visit this festive season visit http://www.getsafeonline.org/Christmas. 

Notes to Editors

1. Research carried out by One Poll amongst a nationally representative sample of 3000 UK adults.

About Barclays

Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in personal banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth and investment management with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Barclays' purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions - in the right way.

With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs approximately 140,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website http://www.barclays.com.

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is the world's largest privately held vendor of endpoint protection solutions. The company is ranked among the world's top four vendors of security solutions for endpoint users*. Throughout its more than 15-year history Kaspersky Lab has remained an innovator in IT security and provides effective digital security solutions for large enterprises, SMBs and consumers. Kaspersky Lab, with its holding company registered in the United Kingdom, currently operates in almost 200 countries and territories across the globe, providing protection for over 300 million users worldwide. Learn more at http://www.kaspersky.co.uk.

About Get Safe Online

Get Safe Online (http://www.getsafeonline.org), which is now entering its eighth year, is the UK's national internet security awareness initiative. A joint partnership between the Government, the National Crime Agency (NCA), Ofcom and private sector sponsors from the worlds of technology, communication, retail and finance, the initiative continues to educate, inform and raise awareness of internet security issues to encourage confident, safe use of the internet.

i. Cost of online fraud to the UK since the last festive period based on research carried out by  One Poll amongst a nationally representative sample of 3000 adult respondents and ONS Internet Access Quarterly Update, Q2 2013 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rdit2/internet-access-quarterly-update/q2-2013/stb-ia-q2-2013.html

ii. Number of fraud victims in the UK based on research carried out by  One Poll amongst a nationally representative sample of 3000 adult respondents and ONS Internet Access Quarterly Update, Q2 2013 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rdit2/internet-access-quarterly-update/q2-2013/stb-ia-q2-2013.html

iii. Number of Brits who plan to shop online this Christmas based on ONS Internet Access Quarterly Update, Q2 2013 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/rdit2/internet-access-quarterly-update/q2-2013/stb-ia-q2-2013.html and One Poll research amongst a nationally representative sample of 3000 adult respondents

iv. Kaspersky Security Network, 2013

* The company was rated fourth in the IDC rating Worldwide Endpoint Security Revenue by Vendor, 2011. The rating was published in the IDC report "Worldwide Endpoint Security 2012-2016 Forecast and 2011 Vendor Shares (IDC #235930, July 2012). The report ranked software vendors according to earnings from sales of endpoint security solutions in 2011.

For further information you can contact:
Get Safe Online

SOURCE Kaspersky Lab