Send scammers packing this holiday season!

For many of us, the holiday season is about friends, family, food, and shopping! Unfortunately, while you are looking for the perfect gift, cybercriminals are looking for ways to scam you. People need to be particularly vigilant for frauds as we approach the holiday shopping season. Consumers expect to receive more marketing and advertising emails from retailers during this time, pushing their deals, along with updates about their orders and notifications about deliveries.

Inboxes are noisier-than-usual and this makes it easier for cybercriminals to ‘hide’ their malicious messages and prey on individuals who are not security savvy. What’s more, attackers can leverage the ‘too-good-to-be-true’ deals people are expecting to receive, using them as lures to successfully deceive their victims. Click here for our Cyber Security Tips.

Some of the common scams to be mindful of include:

  • Social Media Deals – that convenient ad on your favorite social media site can take you to what appears to be a legitimate website (that you have never heard of) offering the perfect gift for someone you care about at an unheard of price. Once they have your credit card details, they will either use it or sell it on dark web.
  • Charity Scams – A simple pulling of the heartstrings with an email, social media post, etc. about how you can help designed to take advantage of your giving spirit. Be sure any charity asking for your money is legitimate before giving.
  • Fake Shipping Notifications – sent via email or text, the simple message that delivery is being delayed and may not make it by Christmas is all that’s needed to get the potential victim invested enough to need to find out more. Any legitimate shipping notification will provide some details you already known (e.g., the company shipping the item, your address, etc.). Click here for our “Attack Spotlight” with an example of one such scam.

There are many more – free gift cards, payment declines, look-alike websites, pre-approved loans, etc. We want you to be mindful that not everything you get via email, text, etc. is real; a measure of suspicion and scrutiny is needed, even while staying in the holiday spirit.