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Council of Better Business Bureaus ®
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Council of Better Business Bureaus
12 Scams of Christmas
March 09, 2010
Recently, security software McAfee released the 'Twelve Scams of Christmas' list, scams cybercriminals use during the holiday to steal your personal information, according to KOMO News.

  1. Charity Phishing - Although some people don't have money to give to charities, there are thieves out there who would take advantage of those who give, by sending out fake charity e-mails, designed to steal donations, credit card information and identities of donors. 
  2. Fake Invoices from Delivery Services to Steal Your Money - Cybercriminals send you a fake online invoice from the Fed Ex, UPS or U.S Postal Service. These e-mails ask for your credit card and bank account information, or asks users to open an online invoice. But consumers beware because once you click on that link, your computer could be affected by malware used to steal your information.
  3. Social Networking – Cybercriminals Wanting To Be Your Friend - Scammers send out authentic looking 'New Friends Requests' e-mails from social networking sites like twitter or facebook, but clicking on the links in the e-mail again can install malware on your computer.  
  4. Holiday E-Cards - Writing out holiday cards to everyone in your contacts list can be a pain; sending holiday e-cards often times, is a lot easier. But consumers need to be wary of receiving e-cards and holiday powerpoint attachments from people they don't know. Often, these attachments are malicious viruses or worms.
  5. Luxury Holiday Jewelry - Looking for luxury items at a discounted price? Often, the best place to look is online but consumers beware, scammers create fake websites and use BBB logos to lure in shoppers.  Don't be fooled!
  6. Online Holiday Shopping - Online holiday sales are expected to rise this year as more people are searching for bargains. If you shop online, don't use a public computer or open Wi-Fi network, as both are easy for hackers to get into to steal your personal information.
  7. Searching for Christmas Carols Lyrics or Downloads - If you're searching for a holiday ringtone for your cellphone, wallpaper or Christmas carol lyrics, beware.  Around this time of the year, hackers create fake holiday websites and as soon as you click download, your computer could become infected with malware, spyware, adware or viruses.   
  8. Out of Work – Job-Related E-mail Scams- In this troubled economy, scammers continue to prey on desperate job seekers during the holiday with the promise of work from home jobs. Interested persons submit their information and pay an upfront set up fee but instead of giving you your the job, the hackers run away with your money and stolen information.   
  9. Outbidding for Crime – Auction Site Fraud - Auctions sites like e-bay are popular because you find gift bargains; cybercriminals love them too because they can put up fake items at low prices and once someone pays for the item, the hackers take your cash and run – and you never see the item you paid for.  
  10. Password Stealing Scams - Cybercriminals use keylogging to record keystrokes and retrieve passwords. Once they hack into your accounts, they can steal credit card details and clean out your bank account.  
  11. E-mail Banking Scams - What better way for scammers to get your financial information than to pose as an online bank? Scammers ask for the user's information and password, often with a warning if you do not provide this information, your account will become invalid.  Once they have access to this information, it can be sold to an online black market.   
  12. Your Files for Ransom - Once hackers have all your information via the scams above, they can hold it for ransom and it will only be released to you once the hackers get a payment.   

Read the full article at KOMO News, by clicking here.