The Christmas Season

The Christmas season is a wonderful time of the year, but it’s also a prime time for scams to occur. Even with the hustle and bustle of the season everyone needs to remain on their toes.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) shares this consumer warning, a list of scams to be aware of, from McAfee Labs a developer of computer protection software.

You’ve got mail. Think twice before clicking links in shipping notification emails. Always verify the shipping company before giving out your personal information.

Deceptive advertising. Beware of deals that are too good to be true as they could steal your personal information and ruin your holiday cheer.

Chilling charities. ‘Tis the season to donate, but be wary of fake charities. Do your research and double check the site URL.

Buyer beware. Check your credit card statements to make sure you don’t have unwanted charges as a result of a point-of-sale breach of your credit security.

iScams. Today, smartphones act not only as a phone but also a credit card, house key, camera and more. Malware can access your device via apps. Do your research and stick to official app stores when downloading.

Getting carded. Avoid the unwanted gift of malware and always verify that e-cards are from someone you know and are from a trustworthy site.

Holiday travel scams. Avoid fake online deal links offering low price airfare or hotel rooms that could be a trap; think before you click.

Bank robocall scam. Be suspicious of phone calls from people who claim your computer is infected and request your personal information to fix it.

ATM skimming. Carefully inspect automated teller machines (ATMs), especially if they are not at a bank location. A skimmer device could have been installed that’s designed to steal data off your bank card or credit card as you swipe it. Look carefully at the ATM and cover the keypad when entering your PIN.

Year in review traps. While a “Year in Review” email message sounds entertaining to read, clicking on these links could infect your devices.

BYO… device. With the hustle and bustle of the season, smartphones could easily be lost or stolen in the shuffle. Don’t leave your smartphone unattended during the hectic holiday season as it could give hackers access to your personal and work information.

Bad USB blues. Be wary of free USB drives that are often used as giveaways. This method is an easy way for hackers to spread malware.