12 Online Scams: How to avoid unwrapping an online threat (Part 2)

Scam word cloud

In “12 Online Scams: How to avoid unwrapping an online threat (Part 1)” we reported on a dozen holiday scams that computer security company McAfee has identified as the most popular ones that cybercriminals use to scam consumers during the holiday season.

Two more popular scams to avoid, courtesy of RBC are:

Job-related emails: During the holidays, there is unfortunately a rise job-related e:mail scams. Be wary of job opportunities that require initial start-up fees. Be on your guard for phony recruiters and employers that request personal or financial information prior to your commencing “employment.” Instead of a job, you may find your personal information, and your money, stolen.

Phony “Delivery Charges to Release Package” emails: Delivery Service companies do not request, via unsolicited email, payment or personal information in return for goods that are in transit or being held for you. Do not respond to these emails or click on any links within them.

To stay protected and ensure a happy and safe holiday season, McAfee offers the following safety tips:

  1. Do Your Research: Whether online shopping, donating to charities, or tracking your gifts, do your research to make sure the company you are working with is legitimate. You can do an online search of the company you’re buying items from to see if there’s any news about recent risks. Also, go to the company’s homepage to make sure it is a genuine business and instead of clicking on a link in an email for a shopping deal, visit the site directly.
  2. Analyze Apps: Before downloading a new app, review it to make sure you know exactly what you’re putting on your smartphone. Only download apps from an official app store and not a third party. If the app requests too many permissions, do not download it. It may be requesting access to information on your phone that you would prefer to keep private, and certainly more information than it needs. Don’t You can learn more about FakeInstallers here.
  3. Bank Carefully: Most of us are spending more money during the holidays than we do all year. Cyber criminals may try and use this fact to more easily scam consumers. If your bank calls requesting information, hang up and call them back through the official main phone number. It’s important to talk to your banker through the official number so you know it is legitimate..Also, when withdrawing money, be aware of your surroundings. Check to make sure that you are in a safe place to enter your information. If anything looks amiss, leave. And finally, Inspect the ATM for loose wires or machine parts that may have been tampered with. This could indicate hackers trying to fix the machine for their benefit.
  4. Stay Informed: Holiday season or not, cyber scams and identity theft happen very frequently throughout the year. However, because at the height of shopping season the danger is heightened, it is important to constantly be aware of new cyber-attacks or threats in the marketplace.
    • Follow breaking news stories for new security breaches to stay alert and be on top of your game.
    • Only shop for holiday gifts at retailers you know have not been compromised.
    • Check your credit card statements often to make sure that you were not affected.
  5. Practice safe cybersurfing: At all times, ensure your devices are secured with complex pass codes to allow access to smartphones, tablets or laptops. Be sure to share the most common scams that exist around the holidays with your friends, family and co-workers so they know what to be on the lookout for and how to stay protected.




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