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Beware: online scams could cost £170/yr

Beware: online scams could cost £170/yr

Category: Money

Updated: 03/12/2015
First Published: 03/12/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Have you ever fallen victim to an online scam? It's actually more common than you may think, with research from VoucherCodesPro finding that over half (54%) of respondents have fallen victim in the last year alone, at an average cost of £170.

The most common online scam to lure unsuspecting victims is credit card fraud (31%), followed by identity theft (27%), auction fraud (23%), email fraud (18%) and online dating scams (12%), which just shows how far-ranging scammers' methods can be. Considering the average amount that can be lost to these kinds of scams, it makes it more important than ever to be on your guard.

"It's worrying that so much money is lost every year via online scams," commented George Charles of "People think that they are safe online, but it is really important to be careful and to ensure that you do not fall victim to any devious tricksters or con artists."

It's important to be vigilant at all times, but even more so when making monetary transactions online. Make sure that you've got anti-virus software installed and only shop on sites you know and trust (look for the padlock symbol in the address bar and the secure "https" URL if you're unsure) and make sure to exercise a bit of common sense, too. If a site looks dodgy, it could well be just that – if you don't trust it, leave the site immediately and find your purchases elsewhere.

What next?

For more comprehensive tips on how to protect yourself from online fraudsters, read our handy guide.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.