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Attention, Santa! – This Year’s Most ‘Risky Christmas Gift List’ Revealed

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Shoppers need to watch out for iPhones, Playstation 4s and Ugg Boots if they want to stay safe this Christmas, according to Get Safe Online

Far from undercooked turkey or a dodgy mince pie, it may be online shopping scams that could hurt shoppers the most this Christmas, a new survey has found.

With the holiday shopping season now well underway, online bargain-hunters will need to ensure they don’t fall victim to a growing number of cyber scams, according to security watchdog Get Safe Online.

The national security initiative, now in its eighth year, has teamed up with Kasperksy and Barclays to discover the most risky brands to shop for online, as scammers look to capitalise on customer demand for the latest products.

Ugg boots, iPhones and Playstation 4 consoles top their ‘Risky Christmas List’, compiled using past police figures regarding online fraud, with Barbour jackets and the iPad Mini also featuring highly.

Christmas present online shopping © Christos Georghiou Shutterstock‘Think before you click’

Overall, reports of online shopping fraud during the Christmas period rose by 31 percent last year, leaving UK shoppers out of pocket by £9.5 million with individuals, on average, losing £113 each, highlighting the need for shoppers to stay vigilant when shopping online and think before splashing out on ‘too good to be true’ bargains online.

“Every Christmas, without fail, we see worrying statistics about people being scammed online,” said Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online.

“We urge everyone in the UK to just spend a few minutes familiarising themselves with the scams out there and learning what they need do to keep safe so they don’t end up being a victim this Christmas. We know that Christmas is a busy and stressful time for people so we are urging people to just keep the basics in mind and look out for those bargains that just seem too good to be true.”

However, research commissioned earlier this year by Get Safe Online suggests that only a third (32 percent) of people will actually report an online crime to police, suggesting the amount lost last Christmas could have exceeded £28 million.

“Online security can seem like a real minefield to consumers, and the temptation can be to be overwhelmed and not know where to start with securing yourself,” said David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.

“However, by following a few simple guidelines, consumers can dramatically increase their security. Simple things like ensuring your passwords are different and complex can prevent fraudsters from accessing your accounts, and making Christmas a nightmare. My other key piece of advice would be to just take a second to consider the website you’re buying from, or the link you are clicking on. Is it really as good as it seems?”

Feeling Christmassy yet? Try our festive quiz!