Online holiday scams you should avoid

You must have already heard about those phony Facebook promotions that instead of amazing prizes and presents (free laptops, iPods, airline tickets, etc.) leave victims without their account and money. The way how they get users’ details is very simple – these misleading adds ask to fill out “the form’ or “survey’ requesting personal information in exchange of the prize.

As various holidays are coming for us without any delay, such campaigns are likely to be used by cyber criminals more and more frequently. According to McAfee, users should be especially aware about mobile malware: while 76 percent of it has been found targeting at Android phones, Symbian smartphone platform has also been found to be in scammers’ horizon. When trying to find a good deal on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, security experts recommend avoiding digital barcodes that consumers scan for learning about products they want to buy. If you want to be sure that your credit card information is safe and you are not going to find out about bogus charges few weeks later, follow these tips:

1. Make sure that you are clicking only on legitimate adds that came from the source you definitely know.

2. Avoid phony promotions and contests that require sharing your personal information.

3. If after clicking on a link you are asked to log in to your Facebook, Twitter or other social network account, never do that because scammers tend to set such fake log-in pages so they could steal your login details.

4. Avoid holiday screensavers, ring tones and e-cards – according to security experts many of them spread malware. If you still want this for your holiday cheer, download them from legitimate websites.


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