The holiday season is prime time for cybercriminals. The more people shopping online, the better the opportunity to hook people in to steal their information. If you use your work computer for online shopping, you must be even more diligent.
Watch out for these 8 common scams identified by security awareness firm KnowBe4:
Ridiculous Black Friday Deals
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the busiest online shopping days and the bad guys are out to get rich with your money. If the deal looks way too good to be true, it probably is.
Complimentary Apple Watch
You may see coupons that offer complimentary watches, phones, or tablets on sites all over the Internet. Don’t fall for it. Make sure the offers are from a legitimate company.
These scams happen year-round, but this is the time of year when you’re most likely expecting that special package so you’re most likely to click. If you receive an email alert via email or text that you just received a package from FedEx, UPS or the US Mail, and you need to provide personal information, ignore it. Use the tracking information from your order instead.
There is a fake refund scam going on that could come from Amazon, a hotel, or a retail chain. It claims there was a “wrong transaction” and wants you to “click for refund” but instead, your device will be infected with malware.
Phished E-Card Greetings
Your email has an attachment that looks like an e-greeting card, pictures and all. However, malicious e-cards are sent by the millions. Never open these things, especially at the office, since they might infect your workstation. If you’re not sure, contact the sender and see if she actually sent you a card.
Counterfeit Gift Cards
Internet crooks promote a fake gift card through social media but what they really are after is your information, which they then sell to other cyber criminals who use it for identity theft. Here’s an example: A Facebook scam offering a complimentary $1,000 Best Buy gift card to the first 20,000 people who sign up for a Best Buy fan page, which is a malicious copy of the original.
Our best advice is donate to charities you already know, through means you’ve used before. If you receive an email request from a new charity that catches your eye, research the organization and consider giving through their website, not in response to the email.
Here’s another risk to avoid year-round. For example, you bring your laptop/tablet/smartphone to the mall to scout for gifts and use it to see if you can get your gift cheaper somewhere online. But the bad guys are there too, shopping for your credit card number. They put out a Wi-Fi signal that looks just like a complimentary one you always use. Choose the wrong Wi-Fi and the hacker now sits in the middle and steals your credit card data while you buy online. It’s better to not use your Wi-Fi connection in a public place, but if you do, avoid using your credit card.