Festive fraudsters scam one in five Christmas shoppers

British shoppers should be extra vigilant this Christmas, as new date reveals that one in five people have been scammed whilst buying Christmas presents online.

Monday, 10th December 2018, 11:33 am
Updated Monday, 10th December 2018, 11:40 am
Online scams

Nearly one in 10 claim to have never received the item they purchased, whilst the rest reported that they received fakes. One in ten claim it caused them to have the 'worst Christmas ever,' with the average victim losing £190 to festive fraudsters.

Top of the list for the fake presents were electronics (20 per cent), closely followed by luxury goods such as perfume, cosmetics and jewellery (19 per cent), clothing (16 per cent) and toys (14 per cent). Others had been let down thinking they had booked tickets for concerts, flights, and even holidays.

The average value of the fraudulent items stands at £190, although an unlucky few (2 per cent) suffered more significant setbacks, admitting they lost between £1,300 and £5,000. Fortunately, close to one third (31 per cent) managed to replace the present in time for the festivities; although, out of those who bought replacements, one out of five (20 per cent) resorted to buying a different item.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

For many more however, the damage was greater. A sorry 17 per cent couldn't afford to buy another present in time for Christmas, and 15 per cent had to wait until after Christmas to get the item. One in 10 claimed it completely ruined their holiday, causing it to be the worst Christmas they had ever experienced, whilst 17 per cent said their children were unable to get the present they wanted. The ramifications meant that 13 per cent of respondents felt the situation had a negative impact on their relationship with their partner.

Figures from 2017 figures from Action Fraud suggest that Christmas fraud is on the rise, increasing by 25 per cent between 2015 and 2016. Analysis of last year's crimes by the City of London Police also suggests that 65 per cent of crimes at Christmas were linked to online auctions.

Tom Clementson, directors of consumer & SMB at Shieldpay, who consolidated the datat, said: 'It's terrible to see so many people deceived by scammers, especially at Christmas. Shoppers should take every precaution to ensure they are transacting safely. No-one wants their Christmas ruined by festive fraudsters.

'Shieldpay offers complete peace of mind by verifying the identity of both buyer and seller, only releasing funds when both sides agree they're happy with the exchange of goods.'