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Consumer Skills
25th November 2014

Don’t let online shopping issues take the sparkle off your Christmas

If you’re planning to click your way through your Christmas present list this year, keep an eye on the Consumer Council’s Countdown to Christmas Campaign to find out about your online shopping rights and how to stay safe online.

Online shopping can be a great way of finding the best deals and getting present ideas but you also need to know how to keep yourself protected against cyber crime.  In the run up to Cyber Monday (01 December) the Consumer Council is urging people to be safer cyber shoppers and avoid costly pitfalls by following its advice on shopping safely online.

Speaking about the Consumer Council’s Countdown to Christmas Campaign, Philippa McKeown-Brown, Head of Consumer Skills at the Consumer Council said, “Increasingly consumers are doing their Christmas shopping online. Last year a staggering four in five consumers surveyed ordered Christmas gifts online and this trend looks set to increase.  But, worryingly, half of the UK’s online shoppers have been the victim of cybercrime[1].

“Our ‘Guide to Shopping Safely Online’ provides all the information consumers need to know about shopping safely online including their rights should things go wrong.”
The Consumer Council has three top tips for people who plan to do their Christmas shopping online:

  1. Make sure the website you are purchasing from offers a safe payment facility – look for ‘https’ in the website address and check for a padlock icon in the browser bar.
  2. If you’re buying from a website you haven’t used before, check reviews and previous customers’ feedback.
  3. Be aware of scams, if you see an offer, for example beauty or fashion items, at an amazingly low price, ask yourself if they’re the real deal or a fake.  Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Find out more by downloading a free copy of the Consumer Council’s ‘Guide to Shopping Safely Online’ at or by telephoning 0800 121 6022, Twitter (@ConsumerCouncil) or Facebook (Consumer Council Northern Ireland).


[1] Source getsafeonline