Holiday season is over and therefore it is time to get back to work. Christmas and New Year holidays are always full of joy and happiness and it seems like nothing bad can happen. However, it is not necessarily true. Today we are going to take a look at different types of Internet scams used over Christmas period 2010.
- It is clear for scammers that web users are vulnerable and relaxed over the festive period and use it for stealing personal information by sending friendly-looking e-mails with greetings on behalf of some legitimate organizations and banks. You can usually see requests to follow a link and if you do that, you will end up on a page requiring a password or personal information. However, you should remember that such organizations never sent out e-mails of this kind therefore you should never follow such instructions.
- The task of scammers becomes easier on holidays because many people travel around and use airport, hotel and other Wi-Fi networks. Many web users forget about security measures and use such networks for business and different financial operations. Meanwhile online thieves are watching for opportunities to steal. Therefore make sure to use trusted Wi-Fi networks. You should never shop online or check bank accounts if you're not sure the network is safe.
- I believe it is clear for everyone that it is forbidden to download or click on anything from an unknown source. However, Internet users sometimes forget about it because they want to download something nice like holiday-themed screensavers or animation and jingles to send their friends. In truth, this is an easy way for scammers to spread viruses and other computer threats (especially when links come from an instant messenger or an email that appears to be from a friend).
- A new type of scam was used over Christmas period 2010. Apple products are very popular these days and scammers were distributing fake offers for free iPads. Web users received e-mails in which they were asked to purchase other products and provide their credit card numbers to get the free iPad. Many people bought into such a tempting offer but of course, they never received the iPads or the other items. Never provide your personal information to unknown sources.
- Holiday job offers were made on Twitter. Internet users were offered to get a high-paying work-at-home job. Of course, it seemed to be a great way of making some extra cash for holidays therefore those who got interested applied for the job. They were asked to provide their personal information such as home address, Social Security number and email address. As you have already understood, the job offer turned out to be fake.
- Cybercrooks also used holiday time for stealing money from those who travel and rent properties online. Criminals launched fake holiday rental sites on which they asked for down payments on properties by wire transfer or credit card. They made their offers affordable and therefore attractive for travelers. Such low price traps are commonly used in all online fields. Therefore travelers, shoppers and other Internet users should be cautious of products offered at a very low price.
- Another holiday travel scam is quite interesting. Cybercrooks sent e-mails to family and friends with desperate message informing that traveler lost money or was robbed and asking to transfer or wire as much money as possible so that a traveler can get home. Such scam is used all the year round but it becomes much more popular among criminals on holidays.
- I believe that the last type of scam I want to tell you about was used by the most heartless Cybercrooks. They used holidays for charity scams since it's a traditional time for giving. The most common ways to steal money were asking to donate to children's causes, veterans' charities and relief funds for the latest catastrophe. Such requests for help were made via mobile phones or e-mails.
Well, as you can see, our world is not perfect but we can make it better. If you are aware of possible scams (remember that they are used all the year round and not only on holidays) and follow all advices given in this article, there will be less of those who are considered a target for cybercrooks. I hope your holidays went well and you had no above mentioned problems.