The 12 Scams of Christmas ... Hanukkah, too.

Be careful out there!

Saturday, December 17, 2016 by DrJBHL | Discussion: Personal Computing


Sorry, but it's a mess old pipe broke and an Ark might be more useful than a sleigh...

Anyway, getting stuff fixed and dried out. Not much time to write, but I do want everyone to be safe, read the linked article. Please be safe out there! 

"Here’s how to stay safe online this Christmas

As is the case all year round, the key to staying safe online is using common sense and reading things thoroughly. Here are some top tips:

  • Always read who an email is from before opening it. If you don’t recognize the sender, delete it.
  • If you wish to make charitable donations for Christmas, visit the charity’s website directly
  • Don’t follow any external links from emails if you are unsure of the contents
  • Shop on reputable websites, don’t click on pop-ups with sales that seem too good to be true
  • Be mindful of downloads, unusual friend requests and fake bank emails

Keep in mind that all of these types of scams occur every day of the year, not just at Christmas. It’s just that, like all things at this time of the year, they simply come with better wrapping.

Have a Merry (malware-free) Christmas and Hanukkah!

1. Romance brings vulnerable hearts to scammers:

Feeling isolated this Christmas? For many people Christmas is not about family and love, but a lonely night without company. Scammers count on this. Online romance scams happen all year round but are particularly popular around Christmas when lonely hearts are at their most vulnerable.

2. Dodgy travel deals steal credit card information:

Planning a vacation this holiday season? There is no getting around the fact that Christmas travel is expensive. If you find a deal that seems too good to be true, chances are it is. Be mindful of travel deals that pop-up through advertising. NEVER purchase travel from an email leading you to a third party site. 

3. Gift cards offer fake cashback rewards:

Looking for freebies online? Who doesn’t love a bargain! But, beware of emails offering free Christmas gift cards. 

4. Gooligan spreads through new Androids:

Kids getting a new phone for Christmas? As new phones are unwrapped around the world, app downloads skyrocket offering ideal conditions for malware injection through third-party app sites.

5.Fake shopping sites inject malware:

Looking for cheap gift ideas online? Malware injecting sites disguised as discounted designer wear and fragrance sales regularly snag shoppers and as the Christmas gift-buying frenzy forces us to rush, it is easy to become complacent online. Beware of any sites that lead you to third party sites for purchases. Do not buy from ad pop-ups.

6.Charity phishing scams ask for donations:

Want to give something back this year? Every year, reputable charities make calls for their annual Christmas appeals. But beware of calls from fake charities or people pretending to be from legitimate charities.  If you are unsure if this is a legitimate call, simply hang up and call the Red Cross directly, make your contribution in person or on your chosen charity’s website. 

7. Bogus delivery failed emails contain malicious links:

Expecting a package? Fake emails saying that your package was unable to be delivered will direct you to fake links that once open inject malware. These emails may pretend to be from FedEx, UPS or any other legitimate courier service, or, may list no business. This is one of the most common ways of spreading malware currently. If you are expecting a parcel, contact the sender directly with questions. Do not open these emails.

8. Fake eCards spread malware:

Spreading a little Christmas cheer this year? What easier way to spread the holiday spirit than with a funny eCard by email to all of your contacts? eCards are a cheap and entertaining way to stay in touch, but be careful if you receive one. Fake eCards ask you to open a link to see your eCard on a separate page and can lead you to malware-injecting sites. If an eCard is legitimate it will say the name and email address of the sender. Use caution before opening. 

9. Fake bank emails ask for sensitive information:

Did you receive an email from your bank offering you Christmas rewards with a link to follow? Please note: Your bank will never email you asking you for your internet banking password, credit card details or lead you to another site to login to internet banking.

10. Fake friends spread malware on social media

Are you receiving unexpected messages on Facebook? Beware of any new friend requests from people you don’t know or who may have duplicated other friend’s profiles. Beyond spreading malware, these friends phish for private information to exploit further. If in doubt, block and report the profile to Facebook.

11. Christmas lotteries offer scam winnings:

Who doesn’t want a little extra cash to play with at this time of year? But, beware of the lottery scam. It always starts the same way. An email alerts you that you have won an impossible amount of money, all you have to do to claim your prize is pay the small processing fee. It is always tempting but never worth it. Once you have handed your scammer your credit card details the only limit for them is the spending limit on your card.

12. Christmas screensavers bundle malware

We all love a bit of Christmas cheer on our desktops, but holiday search terms are loaded with additional downloads such as PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) that continually flood your computer with pop-ups and more malicious types of malware such as ransomware which takes all personal data hostage until a user agrees to pay." - Emsisoft

There's more at the linked article and other linked articles...

Anyone have a spare boat?

Reply #1 Saturday, December 17, 2016 12:36 PM

Anyone have a spare boat?


Click here to buy a boat at 85% discount! 

Reply #2 Saturday, December 17, 2016 6:35 PM

12. Christmas screensavers bundle malware

There are some really great Deskscapes here. No need for screensavers!

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all.

Reply #3 Saturday, December 17, 2016 8:14 PM

There are times when I can't tell the difference between my spam folder and my inbox, there is so much junk in there. So......delete...delete...delete.

Reply #4 Sunday, December 18, 2016 4:55 AM

Excellent info and advice as usual, Doc, and nicely written. 

Reply #5 Sunday, December 18, 2016 6:22 AM

Thanks, Wiz. Merry Christmas to you and Theda.

Reply #6 Sunday, December 18, 2016 6:49 AM


Thanks, Wiz. Merry Christmas to you and Theda.

Thank you, Sir, and Happy Holidays to you and yours as well.

........Also to all my great friends at WC!!!

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