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The latest statistics show that fraud increases during the Christmas shopping season - Visa urges customers to be vigilant

As e-commerce has increased sharply in recent years, consumer fraud has also become increasingly clearly linked to digital purchasing behaviour. According to new statistics from Show, a world leader in digital payments, fraud in online purchases in Sweden increased by almost 10 percent during the Christmas shopping season last year.

Many people today choose to make purchases through ads on social media. In a survey conducted by Verian (formerly Kantar Public), on behalf of Visa, three out of ten Swedes state that they have made purchases based on advertisements in social media in the past 12 months. Also on the social media platforms occur attempted fraud. According to the survey, 34 percent of Swedes have seen ads in social media that they perceive to be linked to fraud.

Globally speaking, these are large amounts that the fraudsters are looking for. Last year, Visa prevented purchase fraud equivalent to approximately SEK 283 billion (USD 27 billion). Visa now urges consumers to be vigilant before Christmas shopping.

Fredrik Lindquist, head of Sweden for Visa, comments on the survey:

"It is not surprising that fraudsters try to steal consumer or account details when making online purchases during the Christmas season. They try to take advantage of the typical stress of anyone who wants to make clips and find unique gifts on The net. We've seen that many consumers have high confidence and believe they can spot fraud online, but in reality as many as four out of five people check the wrong details when buying online.”

According to Visa's survey, 15 percent of Swedes feel that they have seen famous people used in advertisements with fraudulent purposes to market goods or services in social media.

Fredrik Lindquist CM Sweden Visa
Fredrik Lindquist
Fredrik Lindquist continues:

"Frauds occur all the time, and during the pandemic it became clear that fraudsters were finding new ways to reach consumers. It's about everything from text messages where someone pretends to ask their parents for money from a friend's phone, to offers with everything from better interest rates or puppies."

In the work to stop fraudsters, digital tools play a decisive role, and not least the latest developments in artificial intelligence (AI).

Fredrik Lindquist explains further:

"Our AItool reads data from 3.8 billion bank cards, helping to stop almost all fraud attempts on our platforms every day. It allows us to handle over 76,000 transactions per second, and ensure that payments who will go through do it. With these tools and our promise to monitor threats 24/7, consumers can feel confident that Visa's experts are constantly working to combat fraud, even during the busiest days of the year.”

10 habits for safer shopping

1. Shop only from trusted and secure websites

In particular, look for “https” in the URL and a padlock symbol in the browser bar. The symbols show that the website is secure and uses encryption to protect your data.

2. Too good to be true?

Fraudster often lures victims with unbelievable offers. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

3. Use secure payment methods

Debit cards and mobile cards offer secure fraud protection. Be sure of the recipient before choosing to make a direct transfer.

4. Be careful with e-mails and text messages from unknown actors

So-called phishing is common during the holidays. Never click on links in e-mails or messages that you do not recognize or for goods that you have not ordered. Avoid giving out personal information.

5. Remember to update your mobile and computer.

With regular updates, you often receive security patches that protect against new threats. Make sure your devices and software are up to date.

6. Do not use the same password and enable two-factor authentication

All of your accounts should have unique passwords and enabled with two-factor authentication (2FA) to make it harder for fraudsters to access your information.

7. Keep track of your bank and credit card statements

Regularly check your statements for unauthorized transactions and enable transaction alerts

8. Beware of false charity

During the Christmas holidays, new charities can make themselves known. Pay attention, for example you can check if the organization has a 90-account (an association that is under independent control and review by the Swedish Fundraising Control).

9. Protect your personal information

Do not share personal information unless necessary. Keep in mind that fraudsters can also use AI to imitate voices, so be wary of requests for personal information even if the message claims to be from a friend or family member.

10. Surf safely

Shopping on an open Wi-Fi is a risk and you can easily become a target for whoever tries to hack or access your data. It is safer to shop from a secure home network or through VPN.

  • View Data Net. Exact number 9.9%
  • Survey conducted by Verian on behalf of Visa. Based on 1015 web interviews in Sweden between 27–29 November 2023
  • Survey conducted by Wakefield Research in collaboration with Visa, "Fraudulese: The Language of Fraud" 2022.
  • Survey conducted by Verian on behalf of Visa. Based on 1015 web interviews in Sweden between 27–29 November 2023.
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