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November 23, 2015

Fraud & cyber crooks targeted in national Christmas campaign

News: Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not the only days customers need to be wary.

By Charlotte Henry

Get Safe Online, Action Fraud, and City of London Police are coming together against online fraud this festive period.

They are today launching a national campaign to warn people against fraud, which will run for the next 10 working days.

Last Christmas individuals and businesses lost a combined £16.5m, a 42% increase on the £9.5m from the year before.

Mobile phones were the most common item being bought and sold by victims and fraudsters, with expected bargain priced devices never actually arriving.

Tony Neate, CEO, Get Safe Online commented: "Working with Action Fraud and the City of London police, we are hoping this campaign will highlight how people and businesses need to be extra cautious when grabbing those deals online."

In particular, fraudsters use Black Friday and Cyber Monday, days when online retailers offer huge deals to their customers, to make contact with potential victims. Last year, fraudsters made initial contact with 221 victims on Black Friday, and 205 victims on cyber Monday.

Shoppers need to be wary throughout the Christmas shopping period though, as a further 220 were conned during last minute shopping sprees between 20-23 December.

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Police National Coordinator for Economic Crime, Commander Chris Greany said: "This Christmas we want everyone to think about their online activity, especially when they are about to buy something over the internet.

"When it comes to online shopping if something looks like it is a great bargain it’s probably poor quality, fake or doesn’t even exist."

The problem is not just a UK one either. The Norton Cyber Security Insights report has found that 80% of US consumers are concerned they will experience online crime, with 62% of consumers worldwide believe it’s more likely that their credit card data will be still online than from their wallet.

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