FOX19 - The hectic holiday season can make an ideal time for scammers to strike. FOX19 NOW's Tech Expert Dave Hatter knows the important measures you can take to avoid becoming a target. Here are some things to be on the lookout for this holiday season:
1.) Fake package deliveries: Beware of e-mails and texts that claim you have a package waiting and ask you for personal information to retrieve it. Contact the shipper directly if there is any question.
2.) Charity Scams: Hackers know that Americans are very generous, especially during the holidays. Be on the lookout for phishing e-mails and fake web site that purport to represent real charities. If you are going to give, initiate the transaction, don't follow a link to a web site from an unsolicited mail
3.) Dangerous e-greetings cards: Beware of electronic cards, could be a phishing or a malware delivery mechanism
4.) Phony gift cards: Only buy gift cards from directly from reputable retailers and banks, not third-party web sites
5.) Suspicious giveaways: Whether delivered by e-mail, text or social media, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you think it might be real, don't click a link, initiate contact with the organization
6.) Holiday Themed Clickjacking: Beware links on social media that lead to malware or phony web sites. A healthy dose of skepticism is best. When in doubt, go directly to web site, don't click on links. Keep in mind this applies to text messages (SMS) too.
7.) Phony e-commerce web sites: Stick to know retailers with appropriate SSL security. Look for "https:" in the URL and a lock in the browser. Look for subtle clues that the URL is correct and not pointing to a phony site. Last year Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials shut down 1,500 bogus retail web sites
8.) Auction Sites: Great deals can be found on auction sites, but be sure that you get what you pay for!
9.) Safer Shopping:
10.) Never supply sensitive information on public Wi-Fi
11.) Beware "deal" apps and free apps that purport to help you find the best deal, they might be malware in disguise
12.) Fake coupons: Coupons or discount codes can be sold online and in-person at a fraction of their face value but may be bogus and thus worthless when redeemed.
-Use credit instead of debit
-Use common sense
-Use a different, strong password