Beware of phishing scams this holiday season


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Thread author
Jul 14, 2014
Greetings all,

Don't forget to remind family & friends about Phishing attempts this holiday shopping season, as more people are shopping online these days, and especially today and this coming CyberMonday. The article has more information links.

The holidays are a busy time for buying gifts and other items, but unfortunately it’s also a time when consumers need to be on the lookout for potential scams.

Phishing scams, in particular, tend to flourish during the holidays. In this type of con, a scammer will send malicious emails and messages to consumers to try to obtain credit card details, usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information.

To avoid being taken advantage of, it’s important for consumers to recognize the telltale signs of a phishing scam and only shop at trusted sites.
Phishing scams on the rise

Cyber criminals tend to be more active during the holiday season because of the increase in online purchases. A study found that consumers spent over $3.45 billion last year on Cyber Monday alone, and a third of shoppers plan to spend upwards of $500 over the holidays this year.

Tim Helming, a product manager at threat intelligence company DomainTools, says phishing attempts have increased exponentially over the years, with scammers focusing even more on stealing banking and credit card information.

“What can be really alarming is what happens after the data is stolen,” Helming tells ConsumerAffairs. “[This information] becomes a platform from which cybercriminals can launch further criminal activities, such as targeted attacks which operate as a gateway for malware or other malicious software.”

“According the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), in November of 2016, over 64,000 unique phishing email campaigns were reported targeting more than 330 different brands.”