Sunday, December 10, 2023

How to Protect Yourself from Online Shopping Scams this Holiday Season

--- # How to Protect Yourself from Online Shopping Scams this Holiday Season 

The holiday season is here, and many of us are looking forward to buying gifts for our loved ones online. However, online shopping also comes with risks, as cybercriminals are always looking for ways to scam unsuspecting shoppers and steal their money or personal information. According to a report by Cybernews¹, the FBI, US Attorney's Office, Police, and other US authorities are alerting the public to common online fraud schemes, such as the "package can't be delivered," "account subscription," and "phantom hacker" scams. These scams involve sending fake emails, texts, or calls to the victims, pretending to be from legitimate companies or organizations, and asking them to click on a link, provide their credentials, or pay a fee to resolve a fabricated issue. To avoid falling victim to these scams, here are some tips that you should follow: - Be wary of unsolicited messages that ask you to take urgent action or provide sensitive information. Do not click on any links or attachments, or reply to any messages, unless you are sure they are from a trusted source. If you are not sure, contact the company or organization directly using a verified phone number or email address. - Check the sender's email address and the URL of the link before clicking on it. Look for any spelling or grammatical errors, or any signs of spoofing, such as extra characters or symbols. For example, a fake email from Amazon might use an address like, or a fake link might use a URL like - Use strong and unique passwords for your online accounts, and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. This will make it harder for cybercriminals to access your accounts, even if they manage to steal your credentials. You can also use a password manager to generate and store your passwords securely. - Monitor your bank and credit card statements regularly, and report any suspicious or unauthorized transactions to your bank or card issuer. You can also set up alerts or notifications for your accounts, so that you can be notified of any activity or changes. - Shop only from reputable and secure websites, and look for the padlock icon and the "https" prefix in the address bar. This indicates that the website is encrypted and protects your data from being intercepted by hackers. You can also check the website's reviews, ratings, and policies before making a purchase. - Use a credit card or a payment service like PayPal when shopping online, rather than a debit card or a wire transfer. This will give you more protection and recourse in case of a dispute or a fraud. You can also use a virtual or disposable credit card number, which can limit the amount and duration of the transaction. By following these tips, you can enjoy a safe and happy online shopping experience this holiday season. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don't let cybercriminals ruin your festive mood! -Marie Seshat Landry CEO and Spymaster of Spymaster Enterprises --- 😊 Source: Conversation with Bing, 2023-12-10 (1) Latest Cyber Security & Tech News | Cybernews. (2) Cybersecurity - Latest News and Analysis Covering Hacks and .... (3) Latest cyber-attack news | The Daily Swig - PortSwigger. (4) Cybersecurity - The New York Times.

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