Tips to Stay Safe When Shopping Online for the Holidays: Watch Out for Phishing Emails

Holiday Tip #1 – Merry Phishmas!

It may be the season of giving, but for cybercriminals, it’s the season of taking…taking advantage of unsuspecting victims. They know that millions of people will be ordering gifts from online retailers and they take advantage of that. So it’s super important to be on guard so as not to fall victim to scams.

Most people don’t think twice about opening and clicking on links in emails that appear to come from sites like Amazon especially if they’ve actually ordered something from the giant retailer. And criminals know that. So when you receive ordering and shipping confirmation emails from online stores, stop and hover over any links before clicking on them. You’ll want to make certain the email is from a trusted source and not a fake lookalike. Phishing email addresses usually contain some part of the real retailer’s name making it difficult to distinguish between the real one and the fake.

A common holiday phishing scam comes in the form of an email that appears to be from an online retailer claiming your account has been disabled. Clicking on the convenient link provided to “reset your password” will actually take you to a site that looks an awful lot like the real deal. Once you enter your username and password, the criminals have your information.

If you’re unsure of an email’s legitimacy, it’s best to go directly to the company’s website by typing the URL into your browser and call their customer service number.

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