You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

The simple steps to avoid being scammed this Christmas

Written by:
One in five Brits are scared of being scammed at Christmas, but many people are failing to take simple precautionary steps.

A study of 2,000 UK adults by Nationwide Building Society found nearly half admit to not checking their current account or credit card statements regularly to compare the details against what they know they have bought – therefore running the risk of not spotting a fraudulent or unknown transaction on their account.

While more than half say they avoid the high street and do the majority of their Christmas shopping online, almost two in five don’t know how to spot if a website is secure or not – identified through a padlock symbol (see top tips below).

For those that do hit the high street to shop at Christmas, one in ten admitted to not shielding their PIN number at all at the cash machine when withdrawing money or paying for a purchase by card, while a further three in ten admitted to only shielding it sometimes.  This is despite close to a fifth experiencing ‘shoulder surfing’ – someone trying to see their PIN from behind.

The findings also suggest 15% of Brits share details on social media of when they are on holiday or making overnight visits to friends and family over the festive period – but experts warn this is potentially giving criminals the opportunity to strike.

Stuart Skinner, Nationwide’s head of fraud, said: “Our research reveals people are at risk of being scammed at Christmas if they don’t take some simple preventative steps. With fraud, often the most frustrating thing is that a lack of awareness or lapse in concentration can lead to someone being successfully targeted. We hope that by being aware of a few top tips that shoppers will be in a safer place this Christmas.”

Top tips:
Check your statement regularly.  Keeping receipts and checking your statement will not only help you avoid overspending on gifts, but may also identify unrecognised transactions and reduce post-Christmas stress.  It’s also important to make sure your financial services provider has your most up to date contact details, in case they need to contact you about anything suspicious.
Know how to spot a fake.  If an offer’s too good to be true, it probably is.  Avoid phony websites or voucher offers by doing your research.  Make sure the website address begins ‘https’ at the payment stage and has the padlock symbol – this indicates it’s a secure site.  Research ‘offers’ to see if the one you have received is a known scam.
Keep your PIN safe.  Make sure no-one is looking over your shoulder when entering your PIN at a cash machine or till – this is known as shoulder surfing.  If they do, they then just need to snatch your card while you are busy in the Christmas crowds.
Don’t advertise that your house will be empty.  Be careful who can see your posts on social media and what details you share.  You may be letting more than your loved ones know when you will be away.
Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.  Even links in Christmas e-cards can contain malware, which can harm your device.


There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

The savings accounts paying the most interest

If one of your jobs this month is to get your finances in order, moving your savings to a higher paying deal i...

Coronavirus and your finances: what help can you get?

News and updates on everything to do with coronavirus and your personal finances.

Everything you need to know about being furloughed

If you’ve been ‘furloughed’ by your company, here’s what it means…

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

Having a baby and your finances: seven top tips

We’re guessing the Duchess of Cambridge won’t be fretting about maternity pay or whether she’ll still be...

Protecting family wealth: 10 tips for cutting inheritance tax

Inheritance tax - sometimes known as 'death tax' - can cause even more heartache for bereaved families. But th...

Travel insurance: Five tips to ensure a successful claim

Ahead of your summer holiday, it’s important to make sure you have the right level of travel cover or you co...

Money Tips of the Week

Read previous post:
House prices boosted by London’s Crossrail

London’s new Crossrail route is already having a positive effect on house prices along the new line, according to Lloyds...