Threat Researcher Provides Advice In Terms Of Avoiding Scams During The Holiday Shopping Season

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are right around the corner which means online shoppers need to be extra vigilant and watch out for email scams such as phishing. These emails can make it past most security controls because they appear to be coming from a trusted source; someone they know or a trusted brand.

Common scenario: You receive an email from the sporting supply company you purchased from several times in the past. But look carefully, is it really coming from that well-known brand?

John Wilson, senior fellow of threat research at Agari by Fortra says:

Take a minute to pause and check. Before you click on that link with that great savings offer, check the body of the email and the sender information to look for misspellings. Is the email from amaz0ndeelz2022@gmail.com, not Amazon.com? Do not click on any links but hover over them to see if the URL is correct. Clicking on that offer link may be all it takes to grant a grinch access to personal or business data. If an email receiver does click on the link, it could be an imposter website created by a scammer imitating a trusted brand’s website domain. Make sure the URL in your browser’s address bar matches the brand’s actual website before giving up any personal information such as a username or password.

Google it. Type a short description of the situation plus the word “scam.” If you see 40 entries with similar stories, you’ve just saved yourself a lot of hassle.

Verify another way. If you get an email from what looks like a trusted organization or contact, verify that it’s real by phone. Just don’t use the number shown in the footer of the email, as fraudsters may have switched out the actual number with their own. If you receive a phone call that’s supposedly from your bank, hang up and dial the number on the back of your card.

Report the incident. Criminals count on victims to be too embarrassed or hesitant to report scams. But it’s important to file a police report and notify the Internet Crime Complaint Center (ic3.gov) about the fraud.”

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