Consumers are shopping for holiday items and cyber criminals are shopping for your personal information. The holiday season is prime time for cyber criminals to steal your identity. Over 70% of consumers holiday shop online and there are many cyber scams to steal your personal information. Over 60% of consumers are concerned about their personal information being stolen.
- Holiday Phone Cyber Scams
Mobile devices can make it easier to complete your holiday shopping, but they can also open the door for online cyber scams. These phone scams will claim that you have won a prize. Real organization’s will never ask for your personal information through email or phone.
- Fake Charities
A time of giving, cyber criminals create fake charities that ask for your personal information. Be certain that an organization isn’t a bogus charity by doing your research and using sites that verify.
- Social Media Scams
Digital photos posted on social media sites may have features that provide the information of the locations where they were taken giving cyber criminals information to steal your identity.
- Fake Delivery Email
Cyber criminals send fake shipping notifications to alert consumers that their package has been delivered. Cyber criminals try to get you to click links and download attachments. UPS and the Postal Service have all issued warnings about this.
- Letters from Santa
Fake letters from Santa are emails created by cyber criminals that offer your child a letter from Santa and steal your personal information.
- Holiday E Card Cyber Scams
These holiday e cards will can contain viruses when consumers download cards to the computer.
- Holiday Travel Scams
Consumers receive an email or phone call about winning travel vouchers. The cyber criminals will ask you to provide your personal information and license number to steal your personal information
- Fake Websites
Cyber criminals can redirect you to fraudulent websites. Fake websites may contain many misspellings and grammar errors. Websites that are secure will show a s after http, s meaning secure.
- Gift Card Scams
Cyber criminals write down gift cards numbers that can be bought in store. They contact consumers to check the balance that they have remaining. If there is a remaining balance the cyber criminals will then use the number to make purchases.
- Holiday Games
Cyber criminals may create holiday games to download to your computer that can contain malware and viruses.
- Holiday Refunds
Cyber criminals create fake refunds. Consumers are asked to click links that say request refund or wrong transaction that will put malware and viruses onto your computer.
- Holiday Apps
Many apps are bogus and contain malware. The permissions on your phone can help prevent these apps from accessing your personal information.
Cyber Scam Identity Theft
If you think that you’ve been a victim of identity theft:
Under federal law, you are entitled to a free report from each of the credit bureaus each year. Freeze your credit reports so that cyber criminals can’t one new accounts. The Fair Credit Billing Act will allow consumers to dispute unauthorized charges. If your card has been deemed that it has been used by a cyber criminal, you are only liable for $50 of charges.
Check your transactions. Hackers often test cards to see if they are valid by charging $1 to $2 dollars.
Ensure that your personal information is secure and avoid WiFi networks that are free.
Passwords that use multi factor authentication also help to ensure that your information is not accessed by cyber criminals. Avoid bulk emails which can be sent out by cyber criminals.
IT solutions can help to secure your network and help you avoid cyber scams this holiday season.