Female shoppers at risk of online card fraud this Christmas

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

Female shoppers face a higher risk of fraud when shopping online this Christmas, research out today has found.

Online Christmas shopping is expected to reach £7.75 billion this year, up 14% from the £6.8 billion spent last Christmas.

Research from the National Fraud Authority (NFA) has revealed that only 8% of women aged 26-35 protect their computers with up-to-date anti-virus software.

Online shopping has grown hugely in the past few years. Over 35 million people in the UK have shopped online in the past year, up 52% from the 23 million online shoppers just six years ago.

Credit card fraud

Online credit card fraud losses have dropped dramatically in the past two years, as a result of banking industry initiatives and more awareness of fraud prevention measures amongst cardholders.

Card fraud losses amounted to £365.4 million last year, down 40% from £609.9 million in 2008. But with credit card fraud still a problem, the UK Cards Association is running its Be Card Smart Online campaign again this year.

The campaign aims to get young women in particular to follow a check list to reduce their chances of being a fraud victim this Christmas.

"Christmas should be a time for taking things easy, but unfortunately fraudsters don't stop targeting our cards over the festive period,” said Katy Worobec, Head of Fraud Control for The UK Cards Association.

“This is why we are urging anyone who is planning to shop online this Christmas not to be complacent about security. You are your own best front-line of defense and following Be Card Smart Online's simple steps can help prevent you becoming another fraud statistic.”

You can take a number of steps to reduce your risk of fraud. Firstly, make sure your PC is protected with up-to-date anti-virus software, and it is set to the highest level of security.

You should also look for the padlock symbol on shopping websites, and register your card with Verified by Visa, MasterCard SecureCode, or American Express SafeKey.

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