Cyber Monday Scams to Avoid

Reference Source inspiredelearning

With many of us shopping on Cyber Monday to get the best deals for holiday gifts, cybercriminals are gearing up to take advantage of shoppers rushing to complete their list.  Because so many people are opting to shop online instead of in-store due to COVID-19, scammers are upping their game this year.  Read on to learn more about some common Cyber Monday scams and how you can protect yourself:

Online Credit Card Skimming

According to Malwarebytes, web skimming or “online credit card skimming”, also known under different terms but made popular thanks to the ‘Magecart’ moniker, is the process of stealing customer data, including credit card information, from compromised online stores.”

Web skimming attacks have been on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of online shopping.  With the holidays quickly approaching, it can be expected that cybercriminals look to take advantage of online shoppers hunting for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

Because this kind of attack relies on the merchant’s security and keeping their websites up to date, shoppers might not realize their data is at risk.  However, there are steps you can take to avoid falling victim:

  • Make sure the online store displays properly in your web browser. Look for errors or any indications that it might be out of date.
  • Reduce the number of times you manually enter your credit card information. Use platforms that already store your information or use one-time payment options.
  • Don’t be lured into a false sense of security by 100% safe logos. Any site can put up a logo without it having to maintain proper security.

Fake Websites and Apps

In the rush to get the best deals possible before they run out, shoppers can miss the queues of a fake website or mobile app.  Cybercriminals create fake websites to steal credentials and credit card information.  Some go a step further and create a fake app that, once downloaded, puts malicious software on your device.

Make sure to shop with trusted vendors and be sure to type in the web address whenever possible, instead of following a link.  If you’re on your phone, download the vendor’s app from Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store, and use the app instead of a link out to a browser window.

Suspicious Emails

According to McAfee’s 2020 e-Shopper Guide, “73% of people aged 18-24 admit to not checking the authenticity of emailed or text messaged deals” even though “60% [of surveyed people] feel that cyber scams are more prevalent during the holidays”.

Phishing emails are designed to gather information about you or trick you into giving access to a network for a malicious purpose. While these emails can be quite deceptive, there are usually warning signs and ways to avoid falling victim.

  • If you see obvious spelling or grammatical errors in the subject line or body copy you should proceed with caution.
  • Hover over links in email messages to verify a link’s actual destination – even if the link is coming from a trusted source.
  • When in doubt, type in the address yourself instead of clicking on a suspicious link.

Remember to always stay vigilant and look for signs that you could be encountering a scam.