The 12 scams of Christmas

Discussion in 'General Scam formats' started by Kat, Nov 29, 2009.

  1. Kat

    Kat Administrator Staff Member

    Okay, it's not that original, but still.

    We're about to enter the holiday shopping season headlong, and while vigilance is always important when you're shopping online, scams and such always seem to get worse during the colder months of the year.

    As a helpful reminder, our friends at McAfee put together this handy guide to the 12 most common online scams to which the unsuspecting fall prey to at this time of year. Their list follows, with some commentary...

    Scam I: Charity Phishing Scams - Be Careful Who You Give To
    Many an email purports to come from a legit charity but actually links to a fake web site designed to steal donations, credit card information, and the identities of donors.

    Scam II: Fake Invoices from Delivery Services to Steal Your Money
    During the holidays, cybercriminals often send fake invoices and delivery notifications appearing to be from Federal Express or UPS. Again, your information is stolen or malware is automatically installed on their computer when the "invoice" is opened.

    Scam III: Social Networking - A Cybercriminal "Wants to be Your Friend"
    Cybercriminals take advantage of this social time of the year by sending authentic-looking "New Friend Request" e-mails from social networking sites. These links actually install malware on your PC, often stealing your social network password along the way.

    Scam IV: The Dangers of Holiday E-Cards

    Many e-cards forwarded around during the holidays harbor all manner of malware.

    Scam V: "Luxury" Holiday Jewelry Comes at a High Price
    Sorry, that Gucci bag on deep discount isn't real. Order it and you receive nothing.

    Scam VI: Practice Safe Holiday Shopping - Online Identity Theft on the Rise
    It might be overkill, but McAfee tells users never to shop online from a public computer or on an open Wi-Fi network because you never know who's snooping.

    Scam VII: Christmas Carol Lyrics Can Be Dangerous - Risky Holiday Searches
    Can you believe that websites with lyrics for Christmas carols, as well as wallpaper and ringtones, can be festooned with malware?

    Scam VIII: Out of Work - Job-Related E-mail Scams
    With unemployment at record highs, expect work-at-home scams to be more common than ever right about now, along with the promise of jobs that simply don't exist... but which will happily take a "setup" fee to give you more information about them.

    Scam IX: Outbidding for Crime - Auction Site Fraud

    More deals too good to be true; auctions are always risky propositions.

    Scam X: Password Stealing Scams
    Once a crook hacks a single user account using off-the-shelf software, it's usually a simple matter to break down other accounts either because they have the same password or are linked to provide a new password via a recovery system.

    Scam XI: E-Mail Banking Scams
    Standard phishing attacks often in the guise of a warning that you'll be locked out of the account if you don't comply with some bogus instructions.

    Scam XII: Your Files for Ransom - Ransomware Scams
    A new scareware tactic encrypts your files and holds them ransom until you pay up to have them decrypted.

    Protect yourself by keeping security software up to date and using common sense: Don't open attachments promising holiday cheer, even those sent by friends (they may have been infected without even knowing it), and don't click on or shop from strange web links.

    http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/155521
     
  2. Templar

    Templar Super Moderator

    Fbi - Holiday Shopping Alert

    Headline Archives
    HOLIDAY SHOPPING ALERT
    Beware of Seasonal Scams


    12/01/09

    “Oh, you better watch out…” Cyber shoppers should take heed of the familiar holiday song’s timeless refrain.

    [​IMG]

    With holiday shopping in full swing and recession-wearied shoppers hunting for irresistibly good buys, it’s a safe assumption that crooks and scammers are baiting their traps with deals too good to be true.


    On Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Thanksgiving and the unofficial kick-off of the online holiday shopping season, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued an alert reminding shoppers to be prudent with their purse strings and personal information.



    “Cyber criminals continue to aggressively create new ways to steal money and personal information,” the alert states. Among the scams that prompt some 30,000 complaints each month to IC3, through its website www.ic3.gov, are:


    Bogus online classified ads and auctions: Criminals post products they don’t have, or, in some cases, use stolen credit card numbers to purchase merchandise they offer in auctions. In another scam, criminals may promise free delivery and provide customers with free “paid” shipping labels that are fake and won’t be honored by shippers.
    Tips: Don’t provide financial information directly to sellers—use a legitimate payment service. Check each seller’s feedback ratings and proven track record.
    Phony gift cards: As with merchandise, be cautious about buying gift cards through classifieds or auctions.
    Tip: Buy directly from a merchant or authorized retailer. Counterfeit cards won’t be honored.
    Phishing: These time-tested scams arrive by e-mail or text message, directing recipients to follow a link or call a number to correct or update account information. Would-be victims are sent to fraudulent or spoofed websites that look legitimate and directed to provide their account information and personal details.
    Tips: Don’t respond to unsolicited e-mail. Don’t click on e-mail links or download attachments from unknown senders.

    FBI special agent describes the role of IC3, the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Play Video
    http://www.fbi.gov/multimedia/internet022009/internet022009.htm

    The leading retail association predicted 96 million Americans would shop online on Cyber Monday alone, and millions more during the month of December. For criminals, the numbers spell opportunity. Shoppers, meanwhile, should exercise the same caution they would in a crowded mall—eyes wide open, protecting themselves and their money.

    “If you’re shopping online, make sure the website is secure and it’s not a cloned website,” says Supervisory Special Agent Leslie Hoppey, acting unit chief of the Internet Crime Complaint Center. “If you want to deal with a business, go directly to their official website.”

    IC3 last year received more than 275,000 complaints and reported losses of $265 million—an average of $931 per complaint. The most common complaints in 2008 were non-delivered merchandise or payment (32 percent) and auction fraud (25 percent).

    Agent Hoppey offers some additional tips—have the latest version of security software installed on your computer and make sure online transactions are secure. And she offers a holiday classic as time-honored as re-gifting: “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  3. xmanhere

    xmanhere Ninja

    Beware fake websites when shopping online for Christmas

    Beware fake websites when shopping online for Christmas

    View radar online

    Added: November 2013

    SCAMwatch is warning consumers shopping online for Christmas to watch out for fake websites selling bogus gifts. Scammers set up sophisticated sites designed to trick you into thinking they’re the real deal, including using a ‘.com.au’ domain name and stolen Australian Business Number (ABN).

    Several scam shopping sites have already been shut down, but it’s important that you stay alert to avoid finding yourself out of pocket and a present. The tell-tale sign is if the site only allows you to pay via money order or wire transfer – once you send money this way, it’s rare to see it again.

    Don’t let scammers deliver you a nasty surprise this Christmas. When shopping online, make sure the business that you are dealing with, and their offer, is the real deal.
    How these scams work
    While shopping online for Christmas, you come across a website selling products suitable for gifts.
    The product may be a popular item, such as a smartphone, tablet or camera, at a really cheap price.
    The site may appear to be authentic, with a sophisticated design and content. It may even appear to be an Australian based business, with a ‘.com.au’ domain name and an Australian Business Number (ABN), which is likely to have been stolen from a legitimate company.
    When you go to pay for your purchase, the site only offers you to pay via money order or wire transfer, rather than a secure payment method.
    If you go ahead with the ‘purchase’, you will never receive the product, or see your money again.
    Protect yourself
    If you come across a website with an offer that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
    If a shopping site only offers you to pay by money order or wire transfer, steer clear - it’s rare to recover money sent this way. Only pay via secure payment methods – look for a web address starting with ‘https’ and a closed padlock symbol.
    Remember – these days, it’s easy for a scammer to create a professional looking website. Know who you’re dealing with before you buy online and, if you have any doubts, don’t go ahead.
    If you think you have provided your financial details or sent money to a scammer, contact your financial institution immediately.
    Report

    You can report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch report a scam page or by calling 1300 795 995.
    More information

    For more information on scam shopping sites that have been shut down, check out these warnings issued by Consumer Affairs Victoria and Western Australian Department of Commerce.

    Stay one step ahead of scammers – follow @SCAMwatch_gov on Twitter or visit http://twitter.com/SCAMwatch_gov.

    You have received this email because you have subscribed to receive SCAMwatch radar alerts on scams targeting Australians. These alerts are issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and can be viewed on its SCAMwatch website http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/.

    If you have any doubts about an email's source, verify the sender by independent means - use their official contact details to check the email is legitimate before clicking on links or opening attachments.

    If you no longer want to receive SCAMwatch email alerts, please unsubscribe on the SCAMwatch website.
     
  4. Wonderwoman

    Wonderwoman Administrator Staff Member

    Beware of Holiday Scams

    Beware of Holiday Scams
    Don't fall prey to these 7 hoaxes


    ‘Tis the season for shopping, salutations and various seasonal scams as
    perennial as poinsettias. Among the most common:

    1. Shopping setups
    2. Gift card gotchas
    3. Courier cons
    4. Greeting card cheating
    5. The grift that keeps on taking
    6. Travel scams
    7. Charity cons

    Read the complete article by Sid Kirchheimer, the author of Scam-Proof Your Life, published by AARP Books/Sterling.
    http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/info-11-2013/avoid-holiday-shopping-scams.html
     
  5. Lioness1

    Lioness1 Banned

    http://www.torontosun.com/2013/12/06/be-wary-of-online-shopping-this-christmas

    Money
    Be wary of online shopping this Christmas
    Linda White, Special to QMI Agency

    First posted: Friday, December 06, 2013 02:58 PM EST
    Online shopping Ads for Cyber Monday sales are seen on a cell phone in Washington, DC, December 2, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/Jim Watson)

    For many Canadian shoppers, the convenience, safety and security of online shopping is an attractive alternative to busy malls and packed parking lots.

    Cyber scrooges are well aware of the increase in online shopping, underscoring the importance of protecting money and personal data.

    "Fraud can take many forms, such as identity theft, fake e-mails or websites that trick consumers into providing personal financial information and anyone can be a victim," says Julie Hauser, spokesman for the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (fcac-acfc.gc.ca).

    Before clicking 'purchase,' shoppers should take a few steps to protect their personal information and guard against online fraud, beginning with secure Internet rather than public Wi-Fi.

    "When consumers use unsecured public Wi-Fi hotspots, it's like leaving your car doors unlocked," says Hauser. "You make yourself an easier target for thieves." You may involuntarily give cybercriminals access to your personal information, including e-mails and passwords, and provide fraudsters with an easy way to access your financial information, including card numbers and passwords.

    Keep the season merry with these tips:

    1. Guard any files on your computer that contain financial information by protecting them with passwords.

    2. Always check for the lock symbol in the browser window and for the "https" at the beginning of the web address (the 's' stands for 'secured').

    3. Don't save passwords on your computer or create an online profile with your credit card information.

    4. Turn on your firewall and run up-to-date anti-virus software and anti-adware before entering banking information on your computer.

    5. Turn off file sharing and printer sharing.

    6. Don't allow cookies or pop-ups and set your browser to block dangerous sites or warn you if a site is considered a high risk.

    7. Turn on enhanced security on your Internet browser, personal e-mail and social networking sites. Within the program or site, search for the term 'enhanced security' for help in adjusting your security settings.

    8. When logging into a network access point, make sure the name is correct to avoid getting tricked into visiting a fake site set up to steal your information.

    9. Change your passwords as soon as you're on a secure Internet connection. It's a good habit to change your passwords on a regular basis and to have different passwords for different applications such as e-mail, online banking and social networking sites.

    10. If you are using a public or shared computer, be sure to erase the history and temporary Internet files before you leave.

    "Because people share or expose their personal information online on a daily basis — sometimes on purpose but other times without meaning to — and since it is far easier for hackers to access information on the Internet, consumers need to be mindful of the risks associated with online shopping to ensure that they take the appropriate measures to protect their personal information," Hauser says.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25200338
     
  6. xmanhere

    xmanhere Ninja

    SCAMwatch email alert: Don’t let scammers ruin your Christmas

    View radar online

    Added: December 2013

    With only days until Christmas, SCAMwatch is warning consumers to watch out for fake delivery scams arriving in your inbox or letter box.

    Scammers take advantage of busy times of the year to target Australians, and with Christmas just around the corner, they are jumping on the mail rush by posing as postal and courier service providers who for a fee will redeliver a parcel that doesn’t exist.

    If you are expecting a parcel to give as a gift to family or friends, or expect to receive one, don’t be fooled by an email or phone call out the blue requesting a fee for a parcel to be re-delivered. The scammer will often claim that no one was home to receive the parcel on the first attempt.

    A tell-tale sign that it’s a bogus delivery is if the scammer asks you to pay the fee by international wire transfer – it’s rare to trace or recover any money sent this way.

    This Christmas, warning bells should ring louder than jingle bells if you are asked to pay to receive a parcel. If you hand over your money, all that will be delivered this Christmas is a hole in your pocket.
    How the scam works
    You are contacted out of the blue over the phone or via email from someone posing as an employee from a legitimate parcel delivery service.
    If you are contacted via email, it may look like the real deal, complete with a legitimate company’s logos and branding. The sender may also claim to be from an authentic-sounding section of the company e.g. the ‘FedEx Delivery Department’.
    The scammer will claim that they have been unsuccessful in delivering a parcel to you; however, for a small fee, redelivery can be arranged.
    The scammer will provide a range of reasons as to why the initial delivery failed, such as the parcel being too large or no one being home at the time of the delivery to sign for it.
    The scammer will ask for you to pay the fee (usually ranging from $10 to $30) by providing them with your credit or bank account details, or by sending money via international wire transfer.
    If you pay, all you will have delivered is a hole in your pocket as you will never see your money again.
    Protect yourself
    Parcel delivery services such as Australia Post will never call you to request payment for an undeliverable mail item. If you receive a call that matches this description hang up!
    If you are suspicious about a ‘missed’ parcel delivery, call the company directly to verify that the correspondence is genuine. Independently source the contact details through an internet search or phone book – do not rely on numbers provided.
    Remember – these days, it’s easy for a scammer to create a professional looking email. Double-check the email address, look for grammatical errors (a tell-tale sign of a scammer!), and if you have any doubts, don’t respond or click on anything.
    If you think you have provided your banking or credit card details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
    Report

    You can report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch or by calling 1300 795 995.
    More information

    Stay one step ahead of scammers, follow @SCAMwatch_gov on Twitter or visit http://twitter.com/SCAMwatch_gov.

    You have received this email because you have subscribed to receive SCAMwatch radar alerts on scams targeting Australians. These alerts are issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and can be viewed on its SCAMwatch website http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/.

    If you have any doubts about an email's source, verify the sender by independent means - use their official contact details to check the email is legitimate before clicking on links or opening attachments.

    If you no longer want to receive SCAMwatch email alerts, please unsubscribe on the SCAMwatch website.
     

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