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F-Secure’s Survey: Unmasking UK Shopping Scams Trends

A recent study by F-Secure has raised concerns, predicting potential losses of up to £800 million for British online shoppers during the upcoming festive season. The report emphasizes an expected surge in scams over the next two months as consumers engage in holiday shopping, posing a significant financial risk to the nation.

Moreover, additional research reveals a staggering statistic—over 13 million Britons have fallen prey to online shopping scams in the past year alone. These scams have collectively resulted in substantial losses, reaching £1.4 billion across the UK. The magnitude of the issue underscores the urgent need for heightened awareness and proactive measures to safeguard consumers during this festive shopping period.

F-Secure's Survey: Unmasking UK Shopping Scams Trends

Unveiling the Threat Landscape: Insights from F-Secure’s Shopping Scam Survey

In a comprehensive survey commissioned by F-Secure, the vulnerability of British shoppers to scams transcends the age and size of purchases. Among 2,000 respondents, the under-25 demographic suffered the most significant financial blows, losing £245 on average during the Christmas season. Paradoxically, those aged 25-34 were the most susceptible to falling prey to scams.

Moreover, gender nuances emerged, with men surpassing women in susceptibility to scams at 28% versus 21%. The survey delved into specific shopping categories, revealing that fashion and gift shopping (16% each) were prime grounds for scams. Tech or IoT devices (15%), beauty (13%), and food (13%) closely followed. Sports equipment, furniture, vehicles, and travel each faced a 12% risk, while event ticket shopping was at 11%.

Alarmingly, smaller retailers, despite only contributing to 27% of scams, suffer disproportionately as consumers gravitate towards major platforms. Interestingly, Amazon and eBay accounted for 23% of scams, challenging the perception of safety associated with prominent retailers.

F-Secure advocates protective measures for consumers, urging the use of credit cards for potential reimbursement in case of scams. Emphasizing the importance of due diligence, it recommends checking site reviews cautiously, as an excess of top ratings may indicate fraudulent reviews. Shoppers are advised to exercise caution with unrealistically low prices and to look for other signs of potential danger. F-Secure offers its ‘Online Shopping Checker’ tool as an added resource to ascertain the legitimacy of online stores.

Beyond the festive season, Black Friday raises additional concerns for shopping safety. Imperva’s research predicts a 66% increase in Account Take Over (ATO) attacks globally during Black Friday, emphasizing the need for heightened cybersecurity awareness during this high-traffic period.

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