Be vigilant this upcoming holiday season, as criminals will use Black Friday and Cyber Monday to take advantage of consumers amid the excitement of amazing deals. Don’t let hassle-free online shopping lead to a headache down the road.
If something looks too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. Fraudulent emails that make outrageous claims like “Click now for your free MacBook Pro” are a red flag. These emails could contain malware that can infect your computer and give cyber criminals access to your browsing history and personal information.
The same logic applies to coupons. A too-good-to-be-true coupon offer that leads you to an unfamiliar site asking for your credit card information is an example of a scam.
Early in 2016, several UD people reported malware-infected emails disguised as amazon.com shipping notices. Generally, online retailers do not include a file for you to download within their emails. If you are unsure of the legitimacy of a retailer’s email, contact the company directly at their help center.
If you want a secure way to check the status of your package, log on to the retailer’s website with a URL you know and trust to check the status of the order’s delivery.
Scammers are also known the create fake versions of popular retailer websites. Watch out for URLs that use the names of your favorite company but with added words. Below are a list of popular shipping companies and their tips for staying smart about package scams:
- DHL Fraud Awareness and Protection
- FedEx Customer Protection Center
- UPS: Fight Fraud
- US Postal Service Guide (USPS) to Preventing Mail Fraud
As always, stay smart when shopping online, especially this holiday season. Look out for common schemes like fake retail websites, phishing scams, and fake coupons. As the US government’s Computer Emergency Response Team (US-CERT) reminds us, “Online shopping has become a popular way to purchase items without the hassles of traffic and crowds. However, the Internet has unique risks, so it is important to take steps to protect yourself when shopping online.”
Think B4 you click!
- BBB Warning: Avoid These Holiday Scams
- StaySafeOnline.org: Cyber Safe Holiday Shopping Resource
- INC: 14 Dangerous Holiday Shopping Scams to Avoid
- NBC News: Scammers Infiltrating Apps
- Forbes: Worried About Black Friday Scams?
- USA Today: Black Friday Scams
- Norton: Holiday Scams Abound Near Black Friday