Tis the Season for Scams: New Study Shows Scammed Holiday Shoppers Lost $1500 on Average Last Year

Consumer confidence in safe online holiday shopping down as scams become more sophisticated 

TEMPE, Ariz. and PRAGUE, Nov. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A new global consumer survey from Norton, a consumer Cyber Safety brand of Gen™ (NASDAQ: GEN), revealed online shopping scam victims lost $1500 on average during the holiday season.

The 2023 Holiday Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report, which explores consumers’ experiences and attitudes surrounding digital safety during the holiday season, revealed that out of the consumers targeted by holiday scams, half fell victim. Now with nearly 98% of consumers planning to do at least some of their holiday shopping online, more than half (56%) say they are still worried about falling victim to cybercrime, AI shopping scams or third-party retailers.

“The holiday shopping season is a busy time for cybercriminals. During the hustle of the holiday season, shoppers often fall victim to scams as they look for discounts on popular holiday gifts, make last-minute purchases and overlook suspicious activity,” said Iskander Sanchez-Rola, Director of Privacy Innovation for Norton. “Avoid the cost of falling victim to cybercriminals by knowing how to recognize a scam and keeping vigilant for suspicious links and unfamiliar activity in your bank and credit card accounts.”

Cybercriminals primarily targeted victims during the holiday season by connecting through social media platforms (41%), third-party websites (35%), emails (32%), phone calls (28%) and text messages (26%). Prevalent holiday scams included online shopping scams (40%) and phishing scams (37%), with respondents also noting high instances of postal delivery scams (31%) and gift card scams (30%).

With consumer confidence in the ability to shop online safely dropping from 89% to 72% compared to last year, more shoppers are taking measures to protect themselves. This year, 67% agreed not to make purchases using unsecured or public Wi-Fi. Surprisingly, while brick-and-mortar retail has been swimming against the current of the convenience of online shopping, 60% of shoppers say they will do at least some of their shopping in a retail store rather than online.

Norton experts recommend shoppers take the following steps and precautions to protect themselves from cybercrime this holiday season:

  • Never buy from unrecognized retailers. Check details of unfamiliar stores, ratings and reviews of resellers and be wary when you see too many five-star reviews, especially in a short period of time, as this could indicate fake ratings.
  • Check all websites start with https to help ensure they are secure, especially the payment pages.
  • Avoid the allure of deals and offers that seem too good to be true, like must-have gifts at extremely low prices. Remember that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), such as Norton Secure VPN, to help protect your online privacy and keep personal and financial information secure when shopping or using apps on public Wi-Fi.
  • Create strong, unique passwords for shopping sites, email accounts and financial apps. Keep track of passwords by using a password manager, such as Norton Password Manager.
  • Install device protection software, such as Norton 360 Deluxe, to help protect and alert you of potential scams.

Norton helps people shop safely online with products like Norton Genie, a free AI-powered scam detection app for messages, social media posts, email or websites. Norton Genie provides a fast, easy and free way to check if a message, like an email offering a holiday discount, is a scam. Genie can also review suspicious web links, such as those that direct people to track deliveries for holiday gifts, offer gift cards or direct people to fake third-party websites, and confirm if the text is malicious. Genie is powered by advanced AI, so the more people use it, the smarter it gets at detecting new scams.

For access to full results of the 2023 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release: Holiday, please visit https://newsroom.gendigital.com/norton-cyber-safety-report-2023.

About the 2023 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release – Holiday
The study was conducted online by Dynata on behalf of Gen from August 17th to September 4th, 2023, among 1,001 adults ages 18 and older. Data are weighted where necessary by age, gender, and region, to be nationally representative.

About Norton
Norton is a leader in Cyber Safety, and part of Gen™ (NASDAQ: GEN), a global company dedicated to powering Digital Freedom with a family of trusted consumer brands. Norton empowers millions of individuals and families with award-winning protection for their devices, online privacy, and identity. Norton products and services are certified by independent testing organizations including AV-TEST, AV-Comparatives, and SE Labs. Norton is a founding member of the Coalition Against Stalkerware. Learn more at www.norton.com

Malea Lamb-HallCatherine Lockwood 
Gen  Malea.LambHall@GenDigital.comEdelman for Gen  

SOURCE Gen Digital Inc.

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