12 Online Holiday Scams

Courtesy: GMANews.tv

1. Mobile malware: A survey of the National Retail Federation (NRF) in October said 52.6 percent of American consumers said they will be using their smartphones for holiday-shopping related activities. Malware targeted at mobile devices is said to be on the rise and Android smartphones are the ones most at risk.

2. Malicious mobile applications: Apps can be designed to steal information from smartphones, or send out expensive text messages without a user’s consent. Dangerous apps may be offered for free and masquerade as fun applications.

3. Phony Facebook promotions: Cyberscammers are expected to use attractive lures and phony promotions to gather personal information.

4. Scareware or fake antivirus: This is currently one of the most common and dangerous Internet threats and an estimated one million victims fall for this scam each day.

5. Holiday Screensavers, along with holiday-themed ringtones and e-cards, may hide a malicious payload.

6. Mac malware: As Apple products are becoming more popular, cybercriminals have designed a new wave of malware directed at Mac users.

7. Holiday phishing scams: A common holiday phishing scam is a phony notice, saying a person has a package and needs to fill out an attached form. The form may ask for personal or financial details that will go straight into the hands of the cyberscammer.

8. Online coupon scams: About 63 percent of shoppers search for online coupons or deals when they purchase something on the Internet. Many scammers ask shoppers to provide personal information, including credit-card details, passwords and other financial data.

9. Mystery shopper scams: Scammers use this “fun job” to lure people into revealing personal and financial information.

10. Hotel “Wrong Transaction” malware emails: These are aimed at people who travel over the holidays.

11. “It” gift scams: Scammers advertise popular gifts on rogue websites and social networks. Consumers could wind up paying for an item and giving away credit card details only to receive nothing in return.

12. “I’m away from home” scammers: Those who post information about a vacation on social networking site unknowingly give a green light of sorts to burglars.

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