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Black Friday warning as online scammers make £1.6billion from 12million UK victims in just 1 year

Security experts warn that Black Friday & the week before Christmas are the online fraud gangs' most lucrative paydays

Online scammers fleeced 12million people in the UK out of £1.6billion in the last year.

One in five of us have been targeted, a rise of 42%, and the average loss was £134, says Norton Cybersecurity.

Victims of online crime spent an average nine hours trying to sort out the mess afterwards.

Black Friday and December 20 to 23 are the gangs’ biggest pay days.

Yet two in five don’t bother to change their passwords after the security breach, leaving them open to further attacks.

Get Safe Online urges people to double check “to see if the website and product are legitimate”.

The report comes as Action Fraud, Get Safe Online and the City of London Police launch a campaign to prevent onine shoppers being ripped off by fake goods or having their personals details stolen.

London and the West Midlands have been revealed as the nation’s cyber crime hotspots.

Commander Chris Greany, police national co-ordinator for economic crime said: “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.”

Tony Neate, boss of Get Safe Online added: “It never fails to surprise me how cruel and shameless online criminals can be over the festive season, working as hard as they can to con people out of their presents and purchases.

“In the last few years, we have seen the numbers for online crime at Christmas go up and up, particularly as the hype around Black Friday and Cyber Monday bargains keeps getting bigger.

“Simple steps like double checking to see if the website and product is legitimate before making a payment, and also looking for any customer reviews which often act as a good touch point for safe online shopping.”

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