During the holidays, cybercriminals often take advantage of the increased online activity and festive spirit to perpetrate scams. Here are five lesser-known cyber scams that have been observed during the holiday season:
E-skimming Attacks: E-skimming involves hackers compromising an online store’s payment page to steal customers’ credit card information during the checkout process. During the holidays, when people are making more online purchases, cybercriminals exploit this surge in traffic to target vulnerable or poorly secured e-commerce websites. Quite often, criminals send malicious E-greeting cards. For example, as mentioned by CyberGhost, the scams can appear to come from such legitimate companies as Hallmark or 123Greetings.
Charity Scams: Scammers create fake charity websites or send phishing emails pretending to represent legitimate charitable organisations seeking donations for holiday causes. They exploit people’s goodwill and generosity by tricking them into donating money that never reaches the intended recipients.
Travel Scams: With many people planning trips and vacations during the holiday season, scammers take advantage of creating fake travel websites or offering unbelievable deals on accommodations or flights. Victims may end up paying for non-existent bookings or sharing personal information that can be used for identity theft.
Delivery/Package Theft Scams: Cybercriminals send phishing emails or text messages claiming to be from shipping companies or postal services, notifying recipients about failed delivery attempts or package tracking updates. Phishing messages tend to contain attachments or links that are malicious, which when clicked, install malfare or steal information.
Gift Card Scams: Scammers may employ various tactics, such as sending emails or social media messages claiming to offer discounted or free gift cards from well-known retailers or brands. These scams may request personal information or payment in exchange for the promised gift card, but the victims end up with nothing in return.
Protecting yourself from cyber scams
It’s crucial to remain vigilant and cautious when engaging in online activities, especially during the holiday season. Not only are you subject to cyber scams but wifi owners can easily see your data. Be wary of unsolicited emails, verify the legitimacy of websites before making purchases, avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments, and double-check the authenticity of charities before donating.
It is important not only to encrypt your website traffic but also scramble your digital footprint such that it appears to be gibberish to anyone trying to snoop on your activity. This protection can prevent cybercriminals from accessing sensitive information.
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