Online Holiday Shopping Frenzy: Study Shows 1 in 3 Americans Tend to Take More Risks When Shopping Online During Holiday Season

36% of Americans have fallen victim to holiday shopping scams.

November 1, 2022

4 Min Read


TEMPE, Ariz. and PRAGUE, Nov. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A global study from Norton, a consumer Cyber Safety brand1 of NortonLifeLock (NASDAQ: NLOK), sheds new light on the risks consumers will take this holiday shopping this season. According to the 2022 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release – Holiday, conducted online in August 2022among 1,000 U.S. adults 18+ by The Harris Poll, one in three American adults (34%) admit to taking more risks when online shopping during holiday season compared to other times of the year.

The study found a staggering 36% of Americans have fallen victim to online shopping scams during the holidays, losing $387 on average as a result. Of those victimized, most frequently cybercriminals connected with them via email (40%), through social media (38%), third-party websites (32%), texts (28%) or phone calls (23%).

"Now more than ever, many are willing to do whatever it takes online to save on big ticket holiday items, even if it puts them at risk," said Kevin Roundy, Researcher and Senior Technical Director, NortonLifeLock. "The past frenzy of lining up outside stores early to grab must-have holiday gifts has mostly moved online."

Roundy continues, "Inflation and cost-cutting has pushed more Americans to look for discounts, with three-quarters of U.S. adults (77%) willing to take any action to cut costs this holiday season. At this time of year, and this year in particular, vigilance is needed around offers that seem too good to be true, especially when shopping on unfamiliar sites or links via social media."

Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults (17%) admit they would willingly risk giving away personal information to obtain a high demand gift or toy over the holiday season– more than one in ten (12%) would go so far as to share their name, email or birthdate which could compromise their identity, however 9% admit they would share the personal details of a friend or family member to secure a high demand gift. Further, more than 2 in 5 Americans (41%) admit to risking their personal information in some way during the holiday season, typically by posting a picture of an expensive gift they have received (19%), posting a picture of their travel destination (18%), tagging their current location on social media (18%), or posting a picture of their travel plans without removing any personal information (13%).

While most Americans (89%) say they feel confident shopping safely online this holiday season, more than 2 in 5 (43%) admit they aren't really sure of the best ways to do so. When shopping online Norton experts recommend the following actionable steps to identify and avoid risks when online shopping:

  • Checking ratings of online sellers

  • Avoiding suspicious links from social media ads or unfamiliar emails using a virtual private network (VPN) when making online purchases on public or unsecured Wi-Fi.

Norton helps consumers shop safely online with products like Norton Safe Web, which enables users to check for unsafe hyperlinks with the Link Guard Feature. For those looking to take preventative steps to safeguard their connected devices, online privacy and identities, Norton provides all-in-one protection from cyber threats through Norton 360 with LifeLock Select.

To view the study's full results and accompanying visual assets, please visit the 2022 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release – Holiday press kit at

About the 2022 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release – Holiday

The research was conducted online in the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of NortonLifeLock among 1,000 adults aged 18+. The survey was conducted August 15 – September 1, 2022. Data are weighted where necessary by age, gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, marital status, household size, household income, and propensity to be online to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 3.8 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. This credible interval will be wider among subsets of the surveyed population of interest.

About NortonLifeLock Inc.

NortonLifeLock Inc. (NASDAQ: NLOK) is a global leader in consumer Cyber Safety, protecting and empowering people to live their digital lives safely. We are the consumer's trusted ally in an increasingly complex and connected world. Learn more about how we're transforming Cyber Safety at

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