US Holiday Shoppers Fear Cyber-Scams

US Holiday Shoppers Fear Cyber-Scams

Americans are planning to do more of their holiday shopping online this year despite being concerned that they might fall victim to cyber-scams.

Research by global computer security software company McAfee found that 36% of American consumers are planning on buying gifts online this year despite 60% feeling that cyber-scams become more prevalent during the holiday season.

The findings were included in McAfee's "2020 Holiday Season: State of Today’s Digital e-Shopper" survey that was published yesterday. McAfee commissioned 3Gem to conduct a survey of 1,000 adults over the age of 18 in the United States between October 8 and October 13, 2020.

During last year's Black Friday to Cyber Monday holiday weekend, more than 124 million consumers chose to make their purchases in-store. In 2020, as the world grapples with COVID-19, consumers have shifted direction, shopping more and buying what they need through their devices. 

The survey revealed that 49% of Americans said they are buying online more since the global pandemic struck. Nearly one in five consumers (18%) said that shopping online is a daily activity, while one in three (34%) make purchases via the internet 3 to 5 days a week.

Over a quarter (27%) of respondents ages 18 to 24 said that they checked the authenticity of discounts and deals sent to them via email and text message. Overall, fewer than half (43%) said that they would be checking to see if Black Friday or Cyber Monday emails and text messages sent are trustworthy and genuine.

Researchers noticed a difference in concern over cybercrime across generational age groups. While 79% of those aged 65 or older believe there is a greater cyber-risk due to COVID-19, this view was shared by only (70%) of those aged 18 to 24.

“Many are wondering what this year’s holiday season will look like as consumer shopping behaviors continue to evolve and adapt to the challenges faced throughout 2020,” said Judith Bitterli, vice president of consumer marketing.

“With results showing the growing prevalence of online shopping, consumers need to be aware of how cyber-criminals are looking to take advantage and take the necessary steps to protect themselves—and their loved ones—this holiday season.”

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