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As the holiday season approaches, the digital landscape becomes ripe for cybercriminals seeking to exploit the festive spirit. Online shopping, travel bookings, and social interactions all increase during this time, providing ample opportunities for scams and frauds. To ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday season, it’s crucial to be aware of the various cyber scams that lurk in the virtual world. In this article, we will explore seven holiday cyber scams and provide tips on how to avoid falling victim to them.
Phishing scams are a perennial threat, but they tend to escalate during the holiday season. Cybercriminals often send emails or messages that appear to be from reputable sources, such as banks or retailers, enticing recipients to click on malicious links or provide sensitive information. According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), phishing attacks rose by 220% in 2021, with the holiday season seeing a significant spike.
Also, the blog post from CyberGhostVPN highlights a phishing scam that involves fake shipping notifications. Cybercriminals send emails claiming to be from well-known delivery services, tricking recipients into clicking on links that lead to malware or phishing sites.
Fake Online Stores
The convenience of online shopping makes it a prime target for cybercriminals who set up fake websites to lure unsuspecting shoppers. These counterfeit stores often offer enticing deals on popular holiday items to attract victims. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), online shopping scams were the most reported type of fraud in 2021, with a staggering $153 million in reported losses.
As people make holiday travel plans, cybercriminals take advantage by creating fake travel websites or sending phishing emails related to travel bookings. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reported a 270% increase in travel-related scams in 2021, with scammers exploiting uncertainties around travel restrictions and cancellations.
The holiday season inspires many to give back, but scammers capitalize on this goodwill by creating fake charity websites or posing as representatives of legitimate organizations. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) reported a 20% increase in charity-related scams in 2021.
Sending electronic greeting cards is a popular holiday tradition, but cybercriminals use fake e-cards to deliver malware or collect personal information. Scammers often use festive e-card themes to trick recipients into opening malicious links.
Social Media Scams
With the increased use of social media during the holidays, scammers exploit these You should be warned about holiday-themed quizzes and contests on social media that may be used to gather personal information.
Package Theft Scams
With the rise of online shopping, package theft becomes a prevalent concern during the holidays. Scammers may send fake delivery notifications, leading recipients to unknowingly download malware or disclose personal information. According to a report by C+R Research, 43% of Americans experienced package theft in 2021.
Staying vigilant and informed is key to protecting yourself from holiday cyber scams. Be cautious of unsolicited emails, double-check the legitimacy of online stores, and verify the authenticity of charity organizations. By adopting these practices and staying aware of emerging scams, you can enjoy a safe and secure holiday season in the digital age. Remember, a moment of caution can save you from becoming a victim of cybercrime during the most wonderful time of the year.
I hope this article is helpful. Stay safe!