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Holiday Scam Protection

December 03, 2019
Protect Yourself from Online Scams this Holiday Season

Preparing for the holiday season often includes shopping online and booking travel. So, it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself from scams. Here are some of the most common scams to be aware of:

1. eSkimming: The FBI recently issued a warning about hackers infiltrating online shopping carts to steal personal information, including credit and debit cards. This scam is known as eSkimming, and it occurs when cybercriminals inject malicious code onto a website in order to gain access to the sensitive information. eSkimming is specifically targeted to small and medium-sized businesses, like retailers, that take credit card payments online. While it’s not possible for consumers to know if a site has been targeted, it is the responsibility of the business to protect themselves and their employees from falling victim to phishing attacks or vulnerabilities that allow malware to get in. Consumers can be proactive by keeping anti-virus and anti-malware software up-to-date.

2. Fake Websites and Apps: According to the FDIC, consumers should be aware of fake or spoofed website addresses that look similar to actual retail websites. Scammers have also developed fake apps that inject malware onto your device and once downloaded, may steal your personal information or lock your device, requiring a ransom to be paid in order for it to be unlocked. Be on the lookout for typos and poor grammar, which may indicate that the app or website is illegitimate.

3. Unsecure Websites: Before making a purchase, make sure the website is secure. Does “https” appear at the beginning of the URL with the lock symbol? That indicates that the site has a protected network connection.

4. Package Delivery Confirmation Scams: Scammers may call or send an email claiming to be from the U.S. Postal Office. They will ask for personal information that they could then use to open fraudulent credit cards in your name. For more information, please visit the U.S. Postal Service Inspection Crime Alert.

5. Public Wi-Fi: Avoid using public Wi-Fi to shop or access sensitive information. Check out our Security Center for more info on how to safely use public Wi-Fi.
by Middlesex Savings Bank