Phishers take advantage of the increase in year-end online shopping during the most popular shopping holidays of the year—Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the days leading up to Christmas.
Here are some of the most popular phishing scams:
Bogus Shipping Updates
Fake shipping notifications increase each year around the holidays. With so many online orders being shipped, you may be more susceptible to clicking a link about a delivery status update or a failed delivery. Even if the message looks valid, go to the site directly and enter the tracking number yourself. Or call the shipping company for assistance, using the contact information on their site.
Fake Order Confirmations
During this hectic season, you may be more likely to click an order confirmation link from a popular retailer without questioning it. Keep track of your orders so you know what emails to expect.
Unsolicited Offers and Deals
If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Verify that the offer is legitimate by going to the retailer's site and shopping there directly.
- Bookmark shopping sites. Avoid using search engines to find deals. Using trusted shopping sites can help reduce the chance of landing on a malicious site.
- Don’t click ads. Many retailers post Cyber Monday or Black Friday preview ads. Attackers take advantage of this fact by creating fake ads and sites disguised as trusted brands.
- Think twice. Read emails thoroughly and be wary of offers that seem too good to be true.
- Look at the domain name. Some attackers modify domains to catch targets off guard. For example, if the correct domain was www.example.com, the phishers may register “examp1e.com” or “example.co”.
Did You Know?
You can safely check where a link goes without clicking:
Desktop (OSx and Windows): Hover your cursor over the link to view the URL.
Mobile Devices (Android, iOS, Windows): Touch and hold the link until a pop-up menu appears.