Ulster Bank has today released the findings of its 2019 ‘Black Friday’ Fraud Survey.
It shows that 23% admit they would sometimes take a chance on clicking a link if it promised a great deal.
Also, 9% of adults who shop online claim to have shared their online banking PIN or password with someone, either verbally or online, with 23% of those aged 18-24 having done so.
It comes as Gardaí and FraudSMART, a fraud awareness initiative led by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI), is warning consumers to be alert to several new scams targeting people in the run-up to Christmas.
The survey also found that 76% of respondents feel they have taken all the necessary precautions to shop safely online this season.
Ulster Bank is also marking the first anniversary of its ‘Friends Against Scams’ initiative which helps spread the scam protection message to customers, family and friends.
Gardaí and the BPFI are warning the public about products which are considerably under market value or being offered for sale via an unsolicited email, text or phone call by people who are seeking payment in advance.
In many cases there will be photographs of the product which have been taken from other legitimate websites, the product will be offered for sale and payment will be sought in advance and the product will not be delivered.
They are advising people to use online retailers with good reputations such as high street shops or established online stores. Check out the information on the site to ensure it is genuine. Use the same credit card for all online purchases as it makes it easy to cancel if something goes wrong.
Gardaí are advising consumers to be on the alert to text message, email or telephone call scams in which victims receive a text/email or call appearing to be from their bank asking them to for personal details or security information.
They said that the text, email or telephone call will instruct the individual to go to a website or make a phone call to a specified number, after which personal information will be sought. To prompt urgent action by the victim the fraudster will create a fear that if the customer does not take immediate action their account will be compromised.
- Among the other key findings of Ulster Bank’s online shopping survey were:
- Two-thirds of respondents (66%) shop online at least once a month, with those aged 25-34 most likely to shop online with this frequency;
- 38% of online shoppers claim they quite often /sometimes click on links without really thinking if they’re secure or not;
- Almost six out of ten adults (59%) who shop online claim they would not be that embarrassed to admit to their family or friends that they were a victim of online fraud;
- A fifth of online shoppers (21%) claim that it has been longer than a year since they last changed their online passwords, with a further 17% claiming it has been longer than six months since they last changed their passwords;
- 30% of online shoppers claim that it’s been a year or longer since they have reviewed/updated the software security on their laptop, tablet or PC;
- When asked to explain why they have not renewed / updated their software security, 23% say they don’t think it needs to be updated, 23% they only rarely use their laptop nowadays, 20% it’s too expensive to renew, 21% they are happy with the default one that was on the laptop, tablet or PC when they bought it, and 19% admit they don’t know where to start.
Ulster Bank has also partnered with cyberpsychologist, Dr Ciarán McMahon, to help spot the danger signs of a scam.
Dr McMahon said: “The Black Friday phenomenon is all about the chance to bag a bargain before a deadline. However, academic research shows that when faced with time pressures, we often make decisions that are more emotional and less
analytical. Scammers are hoping that we will drop our guard so let’s make it as difficult as possible for them.
“Similarly, academic research indicates that many people mistakenly assess their abilities as significantly better than they actually are. This is reflected in the survey results, where a large majority of respondents feel they have taken enough precautions yet admit to engaging in risky behaviours.
“Cybercrime is an increasingly sophisticated enterprise, but scammers have deadlines too. Consumers can slow them down by simply stopping to think: is this deal too good to be true?”