With Christmas approaching, many of us will go online to do our shopping - and that includes the over-60s. Recent research by TalkTalk and Gransnet* found that 93% had previously done some of their Christmas shopping this way.
Although clearly comfortable online, one in four (23%) over 60s has been targeted by an online scam at least once, with 6% losing money as a result. Of those affected, one in 10 said they'd lost more than £1,000, whilst the majority (52%) lost up to £500.
These findings support recent figures from Action Fraud**, showing £16m was lost to Christmas shopping fraud in 2016, a 25% increase on the previous year. This would be enough to purchase almost 250,000 LEGO Star Wars BB-8 sets***, predicted to be a top gift this Christmas.
To help the over-60s stay safe while shopping online this Christmas, TalkTalk, in partnership with Gransnet, has written a series of tips to help people better protect themselves this festive season.
Lara Crisp, Editor of Gransnet said: "We know this generation know the internet very well – shopping, keeping in touch with their families and friends, or staying on top of the news. Unfortunately, like everyone, they are prone to being targeted by scammers. It's not acceptable, all internet users deserve better than this, so with such a busy retail season in full swing, we were pleased to partner with TalkTalk to raise awareness of the problem."
Tips to stay safe online this Christmas
1. Check the websiteMake sure the shopping website you're on is authentic and the payment page secure. You can do this by checking that the address starts with 'https' ('s' is for secure) and there's a closed padlock in the address bar.
Don't pay for anything by transferring money directly to people or companies you don't know. If it's a fraud, it's unlikely the bank will recover or refund your money. The safest way to pay for anything online is by credit card.
2. Be careful how you pay
Watch out for any contact that alleges to be from a delivery firm or the retailer that you purchased from. If unsure, contact them on their confirmed customer service channels, and do not open any attachments or follow links.
3. Be vigilant with mails, posts and texts
When you've finished your payment, you should log out of your account, as simply closing the page may not in itself end your session.
4. Always log out
Buy concert, event, fixture or entry tickets only from official sources such as the box office, sports club or reputable fan ticket exchange site. Only by doing this will you know that your tickets exist and are not fakes.
5. Only buy tickets from official sources
Check that any holiday or travel you book online is genuine by researching it thoroughly. Look for independent reviews, and confirm travel agents / tour operators are genuine by checking for an ABTA /ATOL number.
6. Scrutinise travel operators
7. Trust your gut instincts
If something seems too much of a bargain ... it probably is, as it could well be of poor quality, not as described, or even non-existent.