#CyberFLASH: ‘Tis the Season…for Identity Theft

n-ONLINE-SCAMS-largeIt’s the most wonderful time of the year — especially for online scammers.

Canadians are taking their gift buying to their keyboards this holiday season, with one-million households already shopping online in the past eight months. As Black Friday and Cyber Monday quickly approach, shoppers are starting to plan their wish lists for a wide range of sales and deals.

However, with holiday shopping also comes the downside of scams that are aimed at frugal shoppers trying to stretch their dollars. Contrary to the season of giving, these fraudulent tricks are aimed at taking your identity and financial information, and for scammers to thrive.

The numbers add up and show how important secure online shopping is:

• Canadians spend 20.6-billion dollars in online retail spending per year, with a predicted climb to 33.8-billion dollars in the next four years (Forrester Research).

• Last Holiday season, two-thirds of Canadians shopped online, spending an average of $746 online compared to $382 offline (J.C. Williams Group).

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