A few months ago, I was involved in a project run by Royal Bank of Scotland to raise awareness of online security, and to highlight how to keep your personal information safe online. As someone who spends 90% of my day online – whether that’s at work, on my blog, or in social messaging apps, I was under the illusion I was much more clued up when it came to protecting my personal online information than I really am.
Fast forward a couple months and we’re now into one of the busiest online shopping periods of the year. This year, I did more than half of my Christmas shopping from the comfort of my sofa (that cold snap really encouraged hot chocolates, cosy socks and copious amounts of netflix and cyber shopping). We’ve heard that John Lewis, Debenhams and Amazon plan to start their sales on Christmas Day itself (not everyone agrees with their approach), and I must admit I already have a list of items I’m planning to pop into my virtual basket next week.
Yet my internet savvy generation are the least likely to be worried about online shopping scams. Almost 50% of 18-24 year olds and 39% of 25-34 year olds believe that those aged 66 years or older are at the greatest risk of online fraud, but that’s not always the case. One in six people in the UK have fallen victim to online scams. Whether you’re a digitally obsessed millennial, or a silver surfer getting to grips with the internet (hi Gran!), online scams can be hard to spot, and are becoming increasingly more sophisticated.
But there are some classic rules to stick by….
- If it’s a deal that looks too good to be true – like the ‘Moncler’ padded jacket I was advertised last year at a whopping 80% discount – it probably is!
- Trust your instincts, and if you’ve never seen such a discount before, it’s probably not legitimate
- Don’t just click the first link that pops up on google, check that you are on the official brand website
- If you’ve clicked through from an email – make sure it’s from a verified company
- I’ve had quite a few scams via facebook messenger and whatsapp, so if a friend sends you a link or offer, check with them before you click
With all this in mind, Royal Bank challenged me to figure out how savvy I was when it came to these classic scam scenario. Pop over to my insta stories today (Saturday 23 Dec 2017) and join me in playing a game of Scam or No Scam.
Stay safe online people (more tips on how to do that here) and happy festive shopping!