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Online shopping scams impacts million users in UAE

With the rise in the popularity of e-commerce, more than 1 million UAE consumers have fallen victiom to online shopping scams alone last year, losing a total of AED 321 million according to the 2017 Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, released by Norton by Symantec.

Last year, nearly one-third of cybercrime victims in the UAE fell for such scams, losing an average of 47.2 hours to resolve the issue. Furthermore, amongst those who have ever experienced a type of cybercrime, more than one in four (22 per cent) had their financial details compromised as a result of shopping online, 28 per cent experience credit or debit card fraud and 43 per cent were notified their personal or financial information was compromised in a data breach last year.E-commerce in the UAE is expected to be valued at $10 billion by 2018, according to Frost and Sullivan. It is a popular, fast, simple, and sometimes more affordable alternative for buying goods; in fact, nine out of 10 UAE consumers shop on-the-go on from their mobile devices according to Norton’s research. This is despite the fact that 71 percent of the respondents in the country feel shopping from a mobile device is risky.

In addition, UAE consumers have reported the following financial losses in the past year:

  • Payment information stolen from their phone– AED 359
  • Credit/Debit card fraud – AED 3859
  • Financial information compromised due to shopping online – AED 381

UAE consumers lost more than two working days (18 hours) on average in dealing with credit or debit card fraud, while an average of one working day (eight hours) was lost trying to resolve or recover from an incident wherein their payment information was stolen from the phone. Consumers also spent an average of 22.4 hours (or nearly one working week) dealing with the consequences of financial information that was compromised while shopping online.

In the UAE, millennials were the most affected by cybercrimes related to online shopping. While millennials are known for being a “digital-first” generation and rather tech savvy, they also make similar mistakes such as using the same password across accounts and sharing their password with others. One in five millennials also admit to not having any protective measures in place for at least one of their devices.


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