The Holiday season allows many to take some time off and relax. Unfortunately many scammers will try to catch you off guard and trick you with Christmas themed and End of Year Tax scam emails.
Let us all get through the holidays end 2012 with our computers secure and our personal information safe.
Below are some examples of phishing scams that may appear in your inbox this year.
Amazon Gift Card! Phishing emails
Scammers send out emails with links to what appears to be an Amazon webpage asking for your username and password to receive the gift card. The webpage will steal your login credentials while at the same time install malware on your computer.
From: Abraham Bowden
Date: December 6, 2012, 5:07:07 PM EST
Subject: Amazon Gift Card!
A GIFT FOR YOU! Hello, you’ve received a $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card! Use the claim code below on something just for you.
from: GIUSEPPINA PONZIANI
gift amount: $100.000
claim code: 4NPW-6ZYXX6-6NG5
Order Number: 104-8633611-7033463
REDEEM NOW: http://www.pagerelocatxxx.com/
For more information on using your gift card, visit http://www.pagerelocatxxx.com/
The REDEEM NOW link is clearly not Amazon.Com
PayPal Phishing Emails
Scammers send out fake PayPal emails that could notify you of a fraudulent charge or payment to your account. At the bottom of the email there is a link to cancel the payment. When you click the link you will be given a fake PayPal webpage that will steal your credentials while at the same time install malware on your computer.
(Image from Sophos.com)
Fake Holiday Party Invitations:
The security blog at TrendMicro has warned about a new scam involving fake company holiday party invitations. Individuals receive an email with a holiday party invitation as a word attachment. When the user opens the attachment malware is installed on the computer. Worse still, there is no real holiday party!
Read more about the Fake Holiday Party Invitations from TrendMicro.com
IRS and Tax Related Phishing Emails
Taxes and the Tax season is a time of stress and anxiety for many people. Receiving an email from the “IRS” could trigger this anxiety and could cause you to forget about computer safety. Remember, whatever the email says, it is ALWAYS a scam.
From the IRS website: “The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels.”
Read more about IRS Phishing scams from IRS.gov
Identify and Protect Yourself from Phishing Emails