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You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why - cyber criminals are coming to town this Christmas, according to UK high street bank Barclays.

The UK high street is predicting that online festive fraud will be at its highest ever levels in December 2017 and could cost shoppers more than £1.3bn. 

Barclays based its findings on a survey of more than 2,000 shoppers conducted in September and found that while spending online is increasing, shoppers' awareness of cyber security is not.  

The research, carried out by Opinium, found that a disproportinate amount of online scams are carried out at Christmas in comparison to the rest of the year as scamsters look to capitalise on the increased spending and low awareness of cyber security among many shoppers.

For example, 38% of shoppers told Barclays they do not know how to identify a secure website. The research also found that the average online sting costs each shopper £8932, equating to the one £1.3bn total when extrapolated to the general population. 

Barclays has also issued a series of festive fraudbusting tips for Christmas shoppers in a bid to try and mitigate the likely losses, much of which is borne by the high street banks, such as Barclays. 

These tips include looking out for padlock symbols and 'https' in the addres bar on retailers' websites; never using public wifi for transactions; never giving out your banking PIN to other websites and regularly monitoring your bank balance. 

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