How to discern Santa disguised phishers this holiday?


Feature image for How to identify holiday scam/phisers

Holiday season is around which means the season of sending and receiving gifts and pleasantries is here as well. According to a report, a whopping $143 billion is spent by customers just between Thanksgiving and New Year. This stands as a very happy figure for the phishers and scammers to rake in through the bank accounts of the customers.

You must have noticed a flooded inbox filled with e-mails and text messages luring to indulge in those vouchers from your favorite shopping mall or discount coupons from your go-to food joint. Free giveaways, life-changing lotteries you never enrolled for or charity messages shouldn’t fool you to fall prey to greedy phishers waiting to make quick bucks this holiday season.

If you receive e-mails, message or even calls which makes offers too good be true, its time you double or triple check, before you give in to them. These messages could have malware which once clicked could empty your bank account even before you realize it, pouring cold water on your happiness and warmth this holiday season.

Holiday phishing like every season is on a rise this year too. Save yourself and your loved ones with this informative article which gives you insights regarding every important detail you need to know about holiday phishing.

SIGNS TO IDENTIFY HOLIDAY PHISHERS

Phishers as their occupation asks for, are very clever. One can take phishing emails examples or messages which are sent by them look that very genuine and appealing. However, to save yourself from these traps, we have mentioned a few important points which will help you in identifying them.

Infographic about signs to identify Phishers & Scammers this holiday season
  • Hoax shipping notifications:
    With holiday season around, the number of orders placed online increases. Phishers take advantage of this situation and send emails or messages quoting a fake order number and other details being shipped to you. One must not fall for such messages even under curiosity; they should inquire with the retailer or track the order online through their registered account.
  • Fake charities:
    As the irony serves, the gratuitous nature of phishers erupts as well during the holiday season. They may text or email you, claiming to be a charity and asking for donations. Make sure you check the legitimacy of the charity house and make sure it exists and works for the same cause as for which you are making donations.
  • Long-lost friend:
    Phishers knows when the iron is hot so they can hit the rod. The holiday season is one time of the year when all the friends get back in touch. Phishers can easily get access to your contact or friend’s list and send you emails personating to be someone you know. Before replying to the message you must double-check whether the person who claims to be the person you know is the same; also warn your friend if you think their contact list may have got compromised.
  • Social media “the new pool of phishers” :
    With a large number of traffic being active on social media, criminal intentions are bound to get followed. While surfing social media make sure you check the links you click as the phishers may use URL shorteners to lead you to sites which will install malware on your device and then get easy access to all the data. To save yourself from such compromising situations make sure you check links for typo errors or repeated letters to identify imposter website.

TYPES OF HOLIDAY PHISHING

Phishers have come forward with different ways to trap people and loot them this holiday season like every year. Below are mentioned a few phishing attack types.

  1. Fake apps and websites

    The time between thanksgivings to New Year is that one time where people indulge of all ages enjoys shopping. With the advancement of technology, people have started to rely more on online sources to buy presents; which turns out to be a treat for phishers. When the victim gets attracted to really exciting offers and decides to purchase things from non-verified apps or websites, they fall into the trap of phishers. In this type of phishing scheme, the victim first receives an email which directs them to fill their payment details and other banking credentials after which the phishers drains out all the money off the victim’s account.

  2. Skimmers of credit cards

    A skimmer of credit card is a small malicious device which criminals use by attaching it to a payment terminal like one at the gas station, ATM or similar kiosk. When a customer uses such a compromised terminal, the skimmer can create a copy of the debit or credit card and also capture the PIN number. To protect yourself from falling into such a situation one must first look at terminal and see if anything is out of its place, try jiggling the card reader and if it moves around then there could be something wrong. Other than these measures one must try bot save card’s information on retail sites, enable purchase alerts on all the cards and disable any international purchase.

  3. Juice jacking

    Holidays calls for parties especially with huge public gatherings and late night outings. Using public chargers and USBs is very common when the battery of phones get drained out. This is when the term juice jacking comes into play. When you put your phone for charging process, the USB or power cable get illegitimate access to your phone and malicious code may get injected onto your phone making all your private and sensitive information vulnerable in the hands of the person with ill-intentions. In simple words, juice jacking leads to an invasion of your privacy on the use of infected USB cable or injecting malicious code directly into your phone, whose damage could be irreversible in many cases.

Conclusion

The holiday season is a time of merrymaking both for normal people and phishers. It is a prime crime time for holiday phishers who trap people by sending them infected emails, messages and tricking them into purchasing things from hoax websites. To make this time of the year merrier for yourself and your loved ones, be aware and spread awareness about such phishers, different phishing attack types by giving them phishing emails examples and such other messages and by asking them to stay more careful while surfing the internet this season.

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