Fraud warning issued to people shopping on unfamiliar websites
Many victims receive faulty items, or never receive the item in the first place, the study by payments solution Shieldpay found.
Shoppers lost an average of £203, but for some the financial hit was bigger with 13% of people left between £300 and £1,000 out of pocket.
The average loss was considerably higher for men, at £255, compared to women, at £139.
Looking at the items that people buy when they are defrauded, a quarter were shopping for electronics, while a fifth bought clothes and toys. Over one in ten (12%) of victims were defrauded when buying holidays and flights online.
Tom Clementson, director of consumer at Shieldpay, said: “The stress and cost of Christmas shopping is enough without the added risk of receiving fake or faulty items. Unwitting shoppers are losing hundreds of pounds, lured into the array of festive offers and knock-off prices and falling straight into the hands of fraudsters.
“Scammers up the ante at Christmas time, targeting shoppers who find themselves stumbling onto unfamiliar websites. Thanks to the troubling scale of phoney sellers and counterfeit websites, there needs to be better protection for consumers who shop online.”