The season of giving is here again and shoppers are scrambling to look for gifts for friends, family members and loved ones. With the modern technology, majority will be using smartphones to browse and shop online versus sitting in front of the computer. The problem is that cyber criminals are aware of this and taking advantage of the opportunity.
I thought it would be cool to interview a couple webshop owners who have experienced scammers. And so I did. In order to avoid tears and heartache this Christmas, here are some of the most common scams to keep in mind and avoid.
Maliciously merry applications – Users of gadgets are always on the lookout for updates and new apps to hasten online shopping and make it more convenient. But beware of these mobile applications as you may be downloading malicious software together with it. Once it latched on to your system, this will enable cyber criminals to have access to all your personal information.
Quote: Henrik B. from Bellabellaci.com: You may be shocked at finding that you have purchase triple the amount than you are aware of. Get updates and apps only from trusted sources.
SMS Tricks for the holidays – When you go online, most sites will ask you to fill up a form and include your mobile number or email address, sometimes both. This is where scammers get your information and then send you a link to their sites. Innocently, shoppers will click on offers of deals and discounts and anything that is promised as a gift or free. This is a hotbed for identity theft and fraudulent activities using your credit card information. You may also get a text messages promising one thing or another when in truth, you will be receiving a charge on your bill next month indicating that you signed up for a certain service. Scrutinize your bills and check that you are only being charged for what you actually bought and used.
Cheery holiday rip offs – No matter what cynics say, people still believe in goodness during the holiday season and this is what scammers on the internet are banking on. They offer deals and discounts on those gadgets you have been looking at and these are incredibly tempting. There are even sites that put up a contest with the prize of a smartphone, tablet or even laptops.
Quote: Lennart from Lovejoy.dk: Be careful of these links and do not download anything nor fill up a form on new sites. You may just be handing your information to a scammer on a silver platter. I have tried this and therefore I am talking out of experience.
Jolly travel tricks – Everyone loves to travel and the holidays are the perfect opportunity to do it. Cyber criminals see this as a perfect opportunity to get hold of your credit card numbers and sensitive information. So think twice about grabbing those hotel deals and cheap flight offers that you see online. Be careful of giving out your credit card information most especially to unknown sites.
Merry fake gift cards – With the hectic schedule of each person, it is sometimes a challenge to find time to shop and think of what friends and family would like as gifts for the holidays. Some will settle for the convenience of gift cards as it will allow the recipient to shop for what they want. The challenge comes when you get roped in with promises of great and amazingly cheap deals on bogus sites. You might be dealing with an irate family member who was caught red handed shopping with the fake gift card you sent them.
Quote: Michelle from Aarganolieshop.dk: Gift giving is an ideal tradition and one that is worthy of keeping. But always bear in mind that the internet world is as infested with people who have malicious intent as those with good thoughts.