Cyber security is a serious threat to individuals and businesses. During the pandemic, cyber criminals honed their scamming skills, eliminated obvious red flags like typos, and cloned well-known trusted organisations websites and emails. As the holiday season approaches cyber criminals are upping their game and taking advantage of bargain hunters and people looking to save money during the cost-of-living crisis.
‘Phishing is the oldest scam in the hackers’ playbook and Black Friday is Prime time for cybercrime. Consider IT see the highest number of cyber-attacks at this time of year. It’s a numbers game and the odds are stacked in favour of the cyber criminals when millions of consumers are searching online for the best deals. Distracted consumers are impulsive and easily tricked with buy now deals and tricked into giving away sensitive data.’ Andy MaClaren, Head of Cyber Security, Consider IT
The best way to protect your personal and financial data for you and your business you need to be aware of cyber threats. Here are the most common holiday season hacker scams:
Fake websites are cloned to look like your favourite sites so you have no idea they are safe until it is too late. Bookmark legitimate sites and return to them instead of clicking on dodgy links
Malicious browser extensions can insert ads, collect browsing data, and steal your online account login credentials. Using really good anti-virus software is the first step to safeguarding you from malicious activity.
Verification code hijacking happens in the scenario where a malicious caller poses as your bank or A.N Other company to access personal or company information. Be aware they have already accessed your email and now need you to supply a verification code to proceed with a fraudulent payment transaction. Never immediately call back and always create an extra strong secure password that is unique don’t rely on repurposing an old one like Ibiza1, Ibiza2, Ibiza3.
Non Delivery is when the gift never arrives. After payment there is no tracking number and when the consumer checks back the seller and website have disappeared and so has the money. So only buy from secure sites with SSL encryption, HTTPS and a lock icon.
Issue with order message with an urgent prompt to click to reschedule immediately. So our advice is don’t click on any link instead delete it immediately or head directly to the retailers’ website if you do have an order with the company.
Fake delivery notifications are sent out disguised at big delivery organisations such as Evri, Royal Mail and Amazon. This is a numbers game for the hackers who send out millions of messages and only need to get lucky once to wreak havoc.
Fake shopping websites are accurately cloned to look like well-known retailers so our top tip is to bookmark your favourite legit sites to avoid falling foul of hackers’ clever tactics.