Christmas scam warning issued in the UK

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Christmas scam warning issued in the UK
Image: Pixabay

Christmas scam warning issued in the UK. Last year Boxing Day shoppers spent a staggering £2.7 billion online according to Barclaycard.

This year the public have been warned to protect themselves as online scammers try to hit unwary Brits during the festive period. Online shoppers have been advised to follow the following steps by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

  1. Keeping accounts secure – strong and separate passwords should be used for the most important online accounts, including email, banking or payment accounts (such as PayPal). The NCSC recommends using three random words to create a password. Turning on two-step verification can add an extra layer of protection.
  2. Be aware of emails, text messages or websites that look too good to be true or suspicious – many scammers set up fake messages designed to steal financial and personal information. Members of the public can report suspicious messages to the NCSC via text to 7726 and email to [email protected]
  3. Choose online retailers carefully – research stores before buying to confirm they are legitimate through trustworthy consumer websites. Some emails or texts about amazing offers may contain links to fake websites. If unsure, don’t use the link.
  4. Use a credit card for online payments if possible – most major credit card providers protect online purchases, and are obliged to refund individuals in certain circumstances.
  5. Only provide enough details to complete a purchase – only fill in the mandatory details on a website when shopping online (often marked with an asterisk).

The Director of National Resilience and Strategy at the NCSC explained: “Scammers will use any opportunity to try and trick the public and businesses into parting with their money so it’s really important that we all know how to protect ourselves.

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“Whilst scams can be convincing, there are practical steps you can take to avoid falling victim to cyber crime which can all be found on the NCSC’s website.”

The Minister for Cyber Crime Steve Barclay commented on Boxing Day cyber attacks and said: “With a record number of cyber attacks this year, it is crucial we all take some steps to keep ourselves and our families safe from scammers while shopping online, particularly in the Boxing Day sales which have become a firm favourite for fraudsters.

“In the past year, government and police action has seen numerous convictions on cyber fraud, and we should all play our part to stamp out this terrible crime that can ruin lives.”


 


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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.

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