12 Holiday Tech Shopping Scams


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Social media and the internet has made it easier than ever to do our shopping for the holidays. It has also made it easier for the scammers.

Learn what the scams are, how to avoid them and how to protect yourself.

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12 Holiday Tech Shopping Scams

  1. 1. 12 Holiday Shopping Scams Greater Cleveland PC Users Group November 2011Basic information from MSNBC / McAfee
  2. 2. Many of us are already shoppingonline, or will be soon, for theholidays. "Cyber-criminals rub theirhands with glee when they think ofthe holidays," said GaryDavis, director of consumer productmarketing at McAfee.
  3. 3. “Consumers are makingtravel plans, shoppingfor gifts and bargains,updating Facebook andconnecting with friends.”However, the vast majority have nosecurity protection for theirsmartphones or tablets, despite usingthem heavily during the holidayseason.
  4. 4. Consumers need to stay one stepahead of this seasons cyber-scrooges, and make sure they haveprotection for all of their internet-enabled devices. Otherwise, theycould risk giving the bad guys thebiggest gift of all - their own personaland financial information."
  5. 5. Mobile MalwareMore of us are using ourphones for shopping, toresearch products or toredeem coupons. McAfeesays Android phones are"most at risk," citing "a 76percent increase in malwaretargeted at Android devices inthe second quarter of 011 over the first,making it the most targeted smartphoneplatform."
  6. 6. Mobile MalwareMcAfee also saysnew malware "hasrecently been foundthat targets QR codes,a digital barcode thatconsumers might scanwith their smartphone to find good deals onBlack Friday and Cyber Monday, or just tolearn about products they want to buy."
  7. 7. Malicious Mobile AppsThese are mobile appsdesigned to steal infor-mation from smartphones,or send out expensivetext messages withouta user’s consent. Dangerous apps areusually offered for free, and masqueradeas fun applications, such as games.
  8. 8. Malicious Mobile AppsFor example, last year,4.6 million Android smart-phone users downloadeda suspicious wallpaper appthat collected and trans-mitted user data to a sitein China.
  9. 9. Phony Facebook Promotions"Who doesn’t want to winsome free prizes or get agreat deal around theHolidays?" One recentscam promised two freeairline tickets — something that soundsappealing at this time of year especially —"but required participants to fill out multiplesurveys requesting personal information."
  10. 10. Scareware: Fake Antivirus / Security Update"Scareware is thefake antivirussoftware thattricks someoneinto believing thattheir computer isat risk or alreadyinfected — so they agree to download andpay for phony software.”
  11. 11. Scareware: Fake Antivirus / Security UpdateMcAfee says itsone of "the mostcommon anddangerous Internetthreats today, withan estimated 1 millvictims falling forthis scam each day."
  12. 12. Holiday ScreensaversAh yes, we love our screensavers forspecial times of the years like Christmas.But some of the free ones are loaded withmore than holiday cheer. "A recent searchfor a Santa screensaver that promises tolet you fly with Santain 3D is malicious,“ McAfee says."Holiday ringtones &e-cards have beenknown to be malicioustoo."
  13. 13. Mac MalwareThose two words wouldnthave even been put to-gether in the samesentence a few years ago.But, as McAfee correctlysays, "with the growingpopularity of Apple products,for both business and personal use, cybercriminals have designed a new wave ofmalware directed squarely at Mac users."
  14. 14. Mac MalwareMcAfee Labs saysas of a year ago,there were "5,000pieces of malwaretargeting Macs, andthis number is in-creasing by 10percent month on month."
  15. 15. Holiday Phishing Scams"Cyber scammersknow that mostpeople are busyaround the holidaysso they tailor theiremails and socialmessages with holiday themes in thehopes of tricking recipients into revealingpersonal information.“
  16. 16. Holiday Phishing Scams A "common holidayphishing scam is aphony notice from UPS,saying you have apackage and need tofill out an attached formto get it delivered. Theform may ask for personal or financialdetails that will go straight into the handsof the cyber scammer."
  17. 17. Online Coupon ScamsWhether yourean extremecouponer or anoccasional one,the season isrife with good online offers andmalicious ones. "Scammers know that byoffering an irresistible online coupon, theycan get people to hand over some of theirpersonal information," McAfee says.
  18. 18. Online Coupon Scams"One popular scam isto lure consumers withthe hope of winning afree iPad. Consumersclick on a phishing site, which can resultin email spam." Anotheris that "consumers are offered an onlinecoupon code and once they agree, areasked to provide personalinformation, including credit-carddetails, passwords and other financialdata."
  19. 19. Mystery Shopper Scams"There have beenreports of scammerssending text messagesto victims, offering topay them $50 an hourto be a mystery shopper,and instructing them to call a number ifthey are interested. Once the victimcalls, they are asked for their personalinformation, including credit card and bankaccount numbers."
  20. 20. Hotel Wrong Transaction"In one recent example, ascammer sent out emailsthat appeared to be from ahotel, claiming that awrong transaction hadbeen discovered on therecipient’s credit card. It then asked themto fill out an attached refund form. Onceopened, the attachment downloadsmalware onto their machine."
  21. 21. “It” Gift Scams"When a gift is hot, not onlydo sellers mark up theprice, but scammers willalso start advertising thesegifts on rogue websites &social networks, even if they don’t havethem," says McAfee. "So,consumers could wind up paying for anitem and giving away credit card detailsonly to receive nothing in return."
  22. 22. “I’m away from home”You know this by now, orshould: "Posting infor-mation about a vacationon social networking sitescould be dangerous. Ifsomeone is connected with people theydon’t know on Facebook or other socialnetworking sites, they could see their post& decide that it may be a good time to robthem. Furthermore, a quick online searchcan easily turn up their home address."
  23. 23. Protecting YourselfAside from buying McAfees products, orthose from another security vendor, hereare some of McAfees tips on staying safein general, but especially in the weeksahead: "Only download mobile apps from official app stores, such as iTunes and the Android Market, and read user reviews before downloading them.“
  24. 24. Protecting Yourself "Be extra vigilant when reviewing and responding to emails." "Watch out for too-good-to-be-true offers on social networks (free airline tickets). Never agree to reveal your information just to participate in a promotion." "Don’t accept requests on social networks from people you don’t know in real life. Wait to post pictures and comments about your vacation until you’ve already returned home."
  25. 25. Protecting Yourself If you are asked to copy and paste some code into your web browser to get a prize or special offer, do NOT do it. The code is usually a javascript which WILL create all kinds of havoc for you. Have a current anti-virus program that you keep up to date. There are ones you can buy & free ones which are very good. See http://gcpcug.org/antivirus for more details.
  26. 26. Protecting Yourself Run an anti-maleware program like MalwareBytes on a regular basis. See http://gcpcug.org/antivirus for more details. Download programs, especially anti- virus and anti-malware, from reputable websites not websites or warning messages that pop up on your screen. Be aware and be on guard.
  27. 27. Credits Elmo is a trademark of Sesame Workshop Android is a trademark of Google Inc. iPad is a trademark of Apple Inc. Original MSNBC article http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/11/09/8720555-12- online-holiday-scams-to-avoid Original McAfee Blog Post http://blogs.mcafee.com/consumer/recipe-for-spoiling-holiday-cheer- top-holiday-viruses-scams The pictures you have seen came from the following sites. Do not automatically go to those sites as some of them may be bogus sites. www.mcafee.com www.the-social-feed.com/ blog.uspsoig.gov/ www.hyper6.com/ www.trendmicro.com/ www.landingpagewebdesign.com www.datarescuetools.com/ www.winfreestuffdaily.com/ justincaseyouwerewondering.com/ www.joelbuckland.com/ www.crazythemes.com/ www.freebies-freestuff-freesamples.com www.screensaverfine.com/ www.macrumors.com/ office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/?CTT=97