Xmas is the most wonderful time of the year not only for common people but for scammers as well. When the former are desperately looking for the right gift, the latter find them as a perfect target for their online schemes.
Harris Interactive and McAfee, the world’s largest dedicated security technology company, warns consumers who are going to make purchases online via mobile devices about high probability to become victims of cybercriminals.
McAfee has summed up possible threats in a list illustrating 12 Xmas online scams.
1. Social media scams
social networks are becoming notorious for numerous attempts to foist you goods. Scammers too find Facebook or Twitter or the like a good place to fraud users especially during holidays. So while trading on the internet, be cautious not to make your card details available to fraudsters. Remembers a good rule of thumb – if an offer sounds too good to be true, it is probably so.
2. Malicious Mobile Apps
Having bought a smartphone, users find millions of app available to download for free. A lot of temptations are difficult to resist. It has become a fertile action field for ingenious scammers. You’ll never know which app has become a source for malware capable of infecting your smartphone and stealing personal information.
3. Travel Scams
If you plan a trip either home or on holiday and look for attractive offers as for flights and accommodations, avoid appealing deals as they are probably too good to be true.
4. Holiday Spam/Phishing
We all have got used to receiving spam emails. Some of them are disguised as “perfect gifts” for attractive priced. Don’t be misled, be very careful.
5. iPhone 5, iPad Mini and other hot holiday gift scams
Many would like to get the latest iPhone 5 or another brand-new Android mobile device at affordable prices. The aim of such sites is to attract consumers’ attention and make them either give their personal data, or link to a dangerous site. Remember such sites are not to be trusted. The least they can do is to infect your comp with malicious malware.
6. Skype Message Scare
Skype, which has become a must-have, is now a perfect target for scammers who will infect your comp via dangerous links and some can even hold your files for ransom.
7. Bogus gift cards
At holidays we often send gift cards, sometimes we buy them from the third party sites which could be bogus gift cards. There’s a high probability that your addressee won’t receive anything.
8. Holiday SMiShing
SMiShing is phishing through text wherein strangers under disguise of a legitimate company push you to get important information or perform actions that you don’t normally do.
9. Phony E-tailers
E-tailers are sites displaying fake ads for bargains. The thing is to lure you into buying fake goods so you would reveal your card information and other pertinent data. You risk being left without the goods you bought and money on a card.
10. Fake charities
holidays are the perfect time to be generous. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of your goodness persuading you to “donate” to “charities.” If you receive a message asking for a donation, and you really want to donate, better check if that’s a legitimate organization before doing so.
11. Dangerous e-cards
E-Cards are cheap, free and take you little time if you want to greet somebody. But some e-cards may have spyware or viruses being downloaded when the addressee gets them.
12. Phony classifieds
Online classified sites are convenient if you are looking for gifts or part-time jobs, but beware of phony offers asking for too much personal information or asking you to send funds via Western Union. If you come across such offers, leave the site immediately as it is likely a scammer.