Tis the Season for Holiday Scams

Tis the season for holiday scams

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…especially for cybercriminals who seem busier than Santa’s Elves right now. With the sheer volume of online shopping, the holiday season provides cybercriminals a prime opportunity to cook up some juicy holiday scams to separate you from your money. They’ll stop at nothing to drain your bank account, steal your passwords and credit card numbers or even make a special ransomware delivery right to your network.


With a little knowledge and a lot of vigilance, you can keep the cyber Grinches from ruining your holiday. Here are tips to thwart their very unmerry tactics:

Be on Guard for Social Engineering Scams

Be on Guard for Social Engineering Scams

One of the most common holiday scams is social engineering. Attackers may use persuasive and deceptive methods, like posing as charity workers, customer service agents or company representatives, to trick you into revealing sensitive information or making unauthorized transactions. Never click on a link in an email requesting sensitive information. And if you receive an unexpected phone call requesting personal information or wire transfers, DO NOT provide any details, including your name or your company. Instead, it’s best to hang up and then call the company back using a trusted phone number.

BONUS: Be sure your business has proper administrative controls to validate any funding requests. Read more about administrative controls here: https://www.mis-solutions.com/2021/02/your-finance-team-is-under-attack/

Beware of Phishing Emails

These deceptive emails are often disguised as holiday promotions, shipping and delivery notifications, donation requests or alerts from well-known retailers or financial institutions. They aim to lure unsuspecting recipients into clicking on malicious links or attachments, which can lead to the theft of personal and financial information or the installation of malware on your device. Always verify the authenticity of an email by checking the sender’s email address and looking for any inconsistencies or suspicious elements in the message. It’s safer to visit the official website of a retailer or financial institution directly rather than clicking on links in emails.

Beware of phishing emails

Monitor Bank Account and Credit Card Activity

Monitor bank account and credit card activity

Regularly monitoring your bank and credit card statements is essential in detecting and responding to fraudulent activity. Especially during the holiday season, when spending is higher and fraudulent transactions can easily blend in, keeping a close eye on your accounts helps quickly identify unauthorized charges. Many banks and credit card companies offer alert services that notify you of unusual activities, which can be valuable in protecting yourself or your company from financial fraud. Additionally, using credit cards with fraud protection features is advisable, as they offer additional layers of security against unauthorized transactions.

Online Shopping Tips
  1. Always use a known and trusted device or computer. Don’t use a public or shared computer for online purchases.
  2. Use a secure internet connection, not public Wi-Fi at the café, mall or airport. If you need to shop on the go, use a virtual private network (VPN) or your phone’s cellular data.
  3. Be wary of offers that are too good to be true. Never click on an advertisement, coupon code or other offer you see online or on social media.
  4. Pay with credit cards or secure online payment systems. These methods often offer better fraud protection compared to other options like direct bank transfers or debit cards.
  5. Shop from reputable retailers you know and trust. If you’re exploring new sites, research their legitimacy, read customer reviews and check for contact information and physical addresses.
  6. Before entering any personal information on a website, look closely for any indication that the site is a copycat or phishing website. Fake websites mimic legitimate websites with the intent to trick users into entering personal information. Check the URL carefully and look for any slight misspellings or different domain extensions. Even websites with an HTTPS URL can be fake so be extra cautious.

Don’t let cybercriminals steal your holiday joy – or your passwords, personal information or money! Remember to practice good cybersecurity especially during the holidays!

Don’t stress! Call MIS!

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We’ll discuss your IT requirements and assess whether we’re the right fit for you.


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