The holidays are near – prime time for crooks to send out “holiday greetings” in the form of spyware and viruses, in effort to put your money into their own stocking.
Today McAfee released the“12 Scams of Christmas,” or, the most popular scams cybercriminals are using to trick people into handing over millions of dollars this holiday season.
Among the top of this year’s most popular online scams for holiday are:
Charity Phishing Scams – Be Careful Who You Give To
During the holiday season, hackers take advantage of citizens’ generosity by sending e-mails that appear to be from legitimate charitable organizations. In reality, they are fake Web sites designed to steal donations, credit card information and the identities of donors.
Fake Invoices from Delivery Services to Steal Your Money
During the holidays, cybercriminals often send fake invoices and delivery notifications appearing to be from FedEx, UPS or the U.S. Customs Service. They e-mail consumers asking for credit card details to credit back the account, or require users to open an online invoice or customs form to receive the package. Once completed, the person’s information is stolen or malware is automatically installed on their computer.
Social Networking – “A Cybercriminal Wants to be Your Friend”
Cybercriminals take advantage of this social time of the year by sending authentic-looking “New Friend Request” e-mails from social networking sites. Internet users should beware that clicking on links in these e-mails can automatically install malware on computers and steal personal information.
The Dangers of Holiday E-Cards
Cyber thieves cash in on consumers who send holiday e-cards in an effort to be environmentally conscious. Last holiday season, McAfee Labs discovered a worm masked as Hallmark e-cards and McDonald’s and Coca-Cola holiday promotions. Holiday-themed PowerPoint e-mail attachments are also popular among cybercriminals. Be careful what you click on.
“Luxury” Holiday Jewelry Comes at a High Price
McAfee Labs recently uncovered a new holiday campaign that leads shoppers to malware-ridden sites offering “discounted” luxury gifts from Cartier, Gucci, and Tag Heuer. Cybercriminals even use fraudulent logos of the Better Business Bureau to trick shoppers into buying the products they never receive.