US-Cert and McAfee have released their annual warning about holiday season phishing scams and malware campaigns. Criminals love this time of year because people are more open to being tricked by scams if they involve a holiday theme and message. Black Friday and cyber Monday offer many opportunities for scammers to deceive online users.
You may be in the giving spirit but that probably does not include giving your credit card number and personal information to criminals.
Watch out for the following scams:
Electronic greeting cards or shipping notification emails that may contain malware: Malware such as the very dangerous CryptoLocker are hidden in email attachments. It is not a stretch to add a holiday theme to these emails to lure and trick the user into opening the attachment.
Learn about: phishing emails
Online Shopping Scams: Online shopping advertisements that may be phishing scams or identity theft attempts from bogus retailers: Fake online shopping sites rapidly appear this time of year. Remember, if a deal is too good to be true, it is probably a scam.
Learn how to spot: a fake online shopping website.
Gift Card Scams: Once again, if a deal is too good to be true, it is probably a scam. Watch out for fake websites selling discounted gift cards or offers to win a gift card. These sites are designed to steal your credit card and personal information.
Only purchase gift cards from reputable websites like Amazon.com and Newegg.com or directly from the retailer to avoid the criminals.
Charity Scams: Requests for charitable contributions may be phishing scams and may originate from illegitimate sources claiming to be charities: It is a sad fact that criminals pray on the generosity of others. Before you give to a charity first verify that they are a legitimate organization and not a scam.
Research the charity at:
image credit: www.fbi.gov