The Monday after Thanksgiving has become known as the biggest online shopping day of the year, with companies offering discounts galore to entice customers. But it’s also a day that scammers hope to use to their benefit by trying to lure in victims with offers that sound too good to be true. From fraudulent auction sales to gift card, phishing and social networking scams and more, cyber-crime schemes are ever-evolving and, unfortunately, still successful. Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud:
- Purchase merchandise only from reputable sellers, and be suspicious of websites that do not provide contact information; also be wary if the seller only accepts wire transfers or cash.
- Do not respond to or click on links contained within unsolicited (spam) email.
- Be cautious of emails claiming to contain pictures in attached files; the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Scan the attachments for viruses if possible.
- Sign in directly to the official website for the business identified in the email instead of linking to it from an unsolicited email. If the email appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.
- Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the email to verify that the email is genuine.
- If you are encouraged to act quickly or there is an emergency that requires your attention, it may be a scam. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly.
- Remember—if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
Stay Safe on Cyber Monday
This Cyber Monday—and every day—it is imperative to exercise due diligence online. Stay alert and beware of cyber criminals and their aggressive and creative ways to steal money and personal information.