The holiday shopping season is officially underway, with consumers scrambling to take advantage of the season’s best deals and snag gifts for loved ones. According to Deloitte, e-commerce sales during the holiday season are expected to increase by 10% to 13% in the US from the same period in 2022. This surge in online shopping is expected to result in over $1.5 trillion in sales in the US, with even more sales expected in Europe and the UK.
However, as shoppers navigate the frenzy of online deals, they should be aware of the prevalence of cyber threats and scams targeting unsuspecting consumers. With the e-commerce market forecasted to grow to over $8.5 trillion by 2025, scammers and fraudsters are poised to take advantage of the surge in online purchases, particularly during busy periods like the holiday season.
Cybercriminals orchestrate various scams and fraudulent activities to target online shoppers with the intent of stealing their money and personal information. Some common threats include fake sellers operating on legitimate platforms like Facebook Marketplace, account takeover schemes, bogus online stores that capture card details, fake apps, phishing attempts, and fake gift card offers. These tactics are designed to deceive and exploit unsuspecting shoppers, leading to financial loss and identity theft.
To help consumers navigate the risks of online shopping, experts have provided 12 tips to ensure a safe and secure shopping experience. These tips include securing devices with multi-layered security software, using strong and unique passwords with two-factor authentication, exercising caution with unbelievably cheap deals, only using secure websites for purchases, checking bank and credit card accounts regularly, shopping with trusted brands, using safe payment methods, downloading apps from trusted sources, avoiding public Wi-Fi for transactions, being cautious with unsolicited emails or texts, checking out as a guest when purchasing from legitimate companies, and refraining from clicking on pop-up ads.
By following these precautions, online shoppers can protect themselves from falling victim to cyber threats and scams, ensuring a happy and safe shopping experience this holiday season. As the holiday shopping season continues, consumers are encouraged to remain vigilant and implement these simple steps to safeguard their personal and financial information while enjoying the convenience of online shopping.