CYBERCRIMINALS TO POCKET £18.5M ON BLACK FRIDAY AND CYBER MONDAY AS SHOPPERS FLOCK TO ONLINE DISCOUNTS – COMPARETHEMARKET.COM ESTIMATES

  • Almost £10 million expected to be stolen on Black Friday and £8.6 million on Cyber Monday
  • 23 million* shoppers will buy most of their Christmas presents online
  • 4.5 million people forced to cancel credit and debit cards in the last year due to online fraud, according to recent research by comparethemarket.com

22 November 2016 – More than £18.5 million is expected to be stolen from UK bank accounts over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as shoppers rush to take advantage of discount prices in the run up to Christmas, according to comparethemarket.com research. The findings follow recent estimates that 4.5 million people have been forced to cancel credit and debit cards due to online fraud in the past year, further highlighting the cybersecurity issues faced by consumers, retailers and banks.

An analysis of previous online sales figures and cybercrime statistics by comparethemarket.com found that the amount spent online could increase tenfold over the two days as shoppers look to cash in on the sales, potentially causing many to become targets for online hackers. comparethemarket.com estimates that almost £10 million will be stolen as a result of the surge in online activity on Black Friday and £8.6 million on Cyber Monday.

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† All figures in italics are estimates

The increase in potential cyber security threats comes as more and more people rely on online shopping. A survey of 2,000 consumers found that nearly half (46%) plan to do their Christmas shopping online, equating to 23 million adults in the UK*. This changing shopping behaviour further underlines the great cybersecurity challenge as millions of people make online transactions. However, consumers are less reliant on online shopping when it comes to planning Christmas day itself, with nearly three quarters of UK adults (72%) planning to do their food shopping in store and only 13% ordering their Christmas dinner online.

These findings follow recent cybercrime research from comparethemarket.com, which found that one in ten people have been the victim of a cyber-attack on their credit or debit card in the past year. In 62% of cases, money was successfully removed from the account with an average of £475 stolen. At a national level this equates to 4.5 million credit or debit cards cancelled in the last twelve months.

Simon McCulloch, Director at comparethemarket.com, said:
“Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a major event in the retail calendar. It is also a salmon run for cyber criminals, who will try to seize money from unsuspecting shoppers and retail outlets. Consumers should regularly check bank statements for any unusual activity, as cyber criminals often make small but regular thefts which are harder to spot than larger one-off purchases.

“You should consider paying for all purchases with your credit card, which will offer additional protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, so that if someone steals your ID then your credit card provider will compensate you for any loss. In addition, these three tips should help you limit the chances of a cyber attack or at least reduce the impact of cyber theft on your shopping this Black Friday:

  • Have a back-up credit card If your credit card is lost or stolen, and you only have one card, you’ll be left using cash until your new card arrives
  • Register your cards with Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode as this protects your card against unauthorised use
  • Always check the website address which should begin https:// rather than http://”