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Not Just Another Manic Monday

According to Kelkoo – the online retail comparison website – and Visa Europe, Monday 29 November is the busiest online shopping day of the year. Visa Europe expects 3.8m purchases worth £265m to be made using Visa cards and Kelkoo says that online shoppers are expected to spend £537m on Christmas gifts today.

These numbers demonstrate just how important online shopping is, especially in the run up to Christmas. It’s increasingly popular with consumers and I would definitely encourage people to feel confident shopping online and not let security concerns put them off. Provided consumers follow a basic common-sense approach, there’s no reason that shopping over the internet should put them at increased risk of card fraud over shopping in person.

The basic advice to consumers against all fraud types is to check your statements, and flag anything suspicious to your bank immediately. With online banking, consumers don’t have to wait for their monthly statement or bill to arrive, but can check as often as they like, which can help spot and stop fraud even faster if there is a problem.

If consumers are shopping online with merchants overseas or perhaps those that aren’t well known, then they should remember that Google is their friend – have a search for reviews from other people who have used the site and if anyone has reported any problems. As with anywhere you spend your money – if you aren’t sure then don’t do it, and if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is!

Some banks have started offering out of bank communications such as SMS messages to track activity, and I would encourage consumers to participate in these schemes where they exist. I’m sure we’ll see increasing use of tools such as SMS between now and next Christmas, which will help consumers feel even more confident.

But otherwise my main message to consumers is to trust their bank to detect and prevent fraud using the vast array of tools they have in place, and to enjoy their Christmas preparations free from worry.

Dave Divitt

Fraud & Risk Solutions Consultant