Christmas shoppers warned about online scammers

Scammers target shoppers online during the Christmas period (Getty)
Scammers target shoppers online during the Christmas period (Getty)

A cyber security firm is warning the public that scammers won't be going easy on anyone even though it's Christmas.

Norton Security is reminding people to not give out their personal details and to only shop on trusted sites.

Security expert from Norton Mark Shaw says he knows the silly season can trip shoppers up, but says the more you shop online, the higher the risk.

"We do see more Christmas themed scams and we do see an increase in some of the scams associated with online shopping - but generally speaking New Zealanders need to be more cognisant of the risks right throughout the year," he said.

Web-surfers should stay particularly vigilant on social media, especially when it comes to Facebook pages offering free gift cards.

Mr Shaw said almost every promise of free money on Facebook is empty, and if the page doesn't have a blue confirmation tick next to its name, steer clear of anything it offers.

He also recommends setting up a different email address for buying online, separating important private information, from what scammers can access.

"Having two personas means you can limit the sorts of information you might be giving up," he said.

Bankers' Association CEO Karen Scott-Howman advises against cutting corners during transactions.

When it comes to shopping, "slow down, take your time be careful," she says.