Hackers are getting ready, because 16 million Canadians are planning to hunt for bargains this year

Nearly 10.5 million Canadians have fallen victim to online shopping scams, it was revealed today as almost 16 million Canadian shoppers prepare to embark on the biggest bargain hunts of the year.

Research from cybersecurity company NordVPN can reveal that 27.3% of Canadians have been scammed while shopping online — equivalent to 10.5 million people.

With Black Friday less than a week away, cyber scammers have their sights on the four in five Canadians who might take part in the event — 41.7% of Canada’s shoppers say they’ll head online for Cyber Monday, Black Friday or the Christmas sales, with a further 36.3% still to decide. 

The task of online criminals is being made easier by the millions of Canadian consumers prepared to offer up a treasure trove of personal information in exchange for an extra markdown or freebie — and those who have already been scammed are at the front of the queue. 

Of the three in ten people who have previously experienced a scam, many admit they’d still be prepared to hand over a catalogue of bizarrely irrelevant information to get a big discount or freebie. 

One in ten (8.8%) would hand over their credit card details, 3.6% would give their social insurance number and 8.4% would reveal where they worked. A further 6.2% would even reveal their children’s names for the chance to bag an extra bargain.

All told, 90% of scam victims are still willing to hand over at least some personal data to land a bonus gift, discount or free service.

The study also revealed that 19.2% of Canadians admit the security of websites is their lowest priority when shopping online while price is the biggest driver, with 36.6% of people choosing it as the thing they pay most attention to.

Marijus Briedis, Chief Technology Officer at NordVPN, said:

“Black Friday is a honeypot for scammers so the 16 million Canadians preparing to attack the biggest bargain hunts of the year had better be on their guard. 
“It’s vital to pay attention to the security certificates on websites and be wary of any site asking for details that they just don’t need. If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

“Hackers can truly take the joy out of shopping, therefore, people shouldn’t forget to shop with reputable retailers only, don’t browse on public wi-fi, use a VPN, and guard their personal information in any possible way. Additionally, people can also add extra security while using a virtual credit card. It allows people to use the temporary number to shop online without showing the seller your real credit card details.”

Source: NordVPN