Advisory: Top 12 Scams of Christmas

Here's what you should know before you get into the holiday spirit

  Beware of Christmas scams
As Christmas approaches, fraudsters have already started launching campaigns that leverage the upcoming holiday. In response, security solutions providers have begun publishing scam advisories to educate consumers of the potential threats.

As Christmas approaches, fraudsters have already started launching campaigns that leverage the upcoming holiday. In response, security solutions providers have begun publishing scam advisories to educate consumers of the potential threats.

McAfee has made a list of the top 12 Christmas scams users should look out for this season.

Around this time of the year, internauts not only tend to shop more, but they also spend more time on social media sites.

That’s why, one of the main types of scams you should beware of is the one that circulates via social media networks. Experts warn that Facebook and Twitter will likely be flooded with all sorts of shady posts designed to steal not only our money, but also our personal details.

Malicious mobile apps are also problematic. With over 25 million Android apps currently available, it’s likely that many of them have some sort of a secret agenda. In order to avoid having your information stolen, or your bill inflated, be sure to download applications only from trusted sources.

A lot of people plan to travel for the holidays and crooks are well aware of it. Deals that sound too good to be true should be avoided since there’s a chance they’re scams.

Never hand over your financial details to a shady website and also, when travelling, be careful what Wi-Fi networks you connect to.

Since everyone will be out looking to buy that perfect gift, spammers will most likely flood our inboxes with all sorts of Christmas offers. Be sure not to purchase any pharmaceutical products and cheap Rolex watches from untrusted shops.

While some spam messages are designed to advertise shady products, others try to lure users to malicious websites by offering them fabulous gifts. If you want an iPad or an iPhone 5 for Christmas, you probably won’t get it from a random website that claims you’ve won one.

Recently, many malicious campaigns have leveraged Skype. If you plan on getting in touch with your family and friends via instant messaging applications, be careful when receiving messages from unknown individuals.

Apparently innocent links can easily lead to malicious sites.

If you’re in the holiday spirit and you want to donate to a charity, be sure to check out the organization you’re giving the money to. In many cases, scammers will rely on our generosity to make a profit.

When looking to purchase something from trusted online stores, make sure you’re on the correct site before making a purchase. Cybercriminals will often set up their own websites on domains whose name is similar to the legitimate site.

The volume of SMS phishing or SMiSingh messages will likely record a peak during this period. Be careful what links you click on your mobile phone, since they can be just as dangerous as the ones on your desktop computer.

Many users plan on sending e-cards to their friends. When you receive such a card, make sure that it really does come from someone you trust before opening it, especially if the alleged card is an attached file.

The last threats you should beware of are phony classifieds. In some cases, the ads could be put up by scammers who want to trick you into handing over money or personal information.

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