OIT Security and Compliance offers some helpful tips to avoid old and new online holiday scams.
- Trojan holiday screensavers, ringtones, e-cards, and mobile apps
These may actually look or sound great, but scan them for viruses and don’t open them if you don’t know who sent them.
- Phishing scams
If you receive suspicious email from your bank or credit card company indicating that your credit card has been declined, suspended or cancelled, don’t click on any link in it. Instead, call the bank or credit card company directly. The notice could be a fake or have a virus attached.
- SMishing scams
Do not reply to a SMS message that states you may have won a gift card and you need to send your bank or credit card information.
- Fake warnings about end-of-year activities
Be on the lookout for malicious links in email and attachments about fourth quarter taxes or end-of-year business reports. If the email is from someone you don’t know or if you were not expecting it, don’t click on any links or open any attachments.
- Holiday travel scams
Scammers send offers of free or discounted airline tickets in hopes of obtaining your frequent flyer username and password. To see the real deal, go to the airline’s website directly. Also, be leery of “I’m destitute and need money” scams.
- Fake charities
Holidays are a time for giving, but also a time for scams. Use sites like the Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau to check out a charity or business.