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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Cybercrime is Coming to Town



Consumers looking for a festive bargain are being urged to keep their details secure as figures reveal online crime cost consumers and businesses nearly £11,000 million in 2015/16 – approximately £210 for each adult. However, the figures only represent cybercrime that is actually reported.

Record numbers of Scots are expected to go online this Christmas, creating opportunities for retailers and bargain hunters but also cyber criminals.

Ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Kenneth Gibson is calling on everyone to keep their financial and personal details secure when shopping online and said:

“With the festive period fast approaching, we can find some of the biggest bargains of the year online. Yet while we all want to enjoy these deals, we should also be vigilant about not providing opportunities to cyber criminals.

“There are a number of simple steps consumers can take to protect themselves from online crime. These include paying with credit cards, shopping only with brands you know and trust, never sharing your password with anyone, and regularly updating your passwords and virus protection software.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the most common times for victims to come into contact with cyber criminals and it is likely to be the same again this year. By taking these straightforward steps, we can all minimise the risk of falling prey to online cyber criminals.”

Tony Neate, CEO, Get Safe Online commented:

“Christmas is supposed to be a time of good will. Unfortunately, this is not always the case when it comes to the online world. We need to do more to protect ourselves when making purchases.

“We want the public and businesses to take that little bit of extra thinking time to double check to see if the product they are purchasing is coming from a legitimate website before making a payment. We also strongly advise people look for any customer reviews which often act as a good touch point for safe online shopping. If your instincts tell you that something is “too good to be true”, then our advice would be that it probably is, so be sure you don’t given away any personal details or payments – after all it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

Figures refer to Online Shopping and Auction Fraud reports made to Action Fraud during the Christmas period (1 November 2015- 28 February 2016). The month of January and February 2016 have been included to account for any delays in reporting incidences.

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