Security experts predict rise in online scams during holiday season
Cybercriminals are gearing up for a crucial two months, according to McAfee analysts, as a flood of consumers are expected to find their way into the online marketplace during the holiday season.
According to McAfee's latest report, 12 Scams of Christmas, surfing the web, shopping for gifts and using online and mobile banking tools will make consumers prime targets for identity thieves in the coming weeks.
"Consumers need to stay one step ahead of this season's cyber-scrooges, and make sure they have protection for all of the Internet-enable devices," according to company spokesman Gary Davis. "Otherwise, they could risk giving the bad guys the biggest gift of all - their own personal and financial information."
Phishing scams and fake Facebook contests and promotions are expected to be popular tactics among identity thieves this season as hackers target consumers with customized, holiday-themed messages.
Another series of popular online security threats identified by McAfee directly relate to financial transactions. For instance, shoppers may be prompted with a fraudulent email asking them to confirm account details before their gifts are shipped. Holiday travelers may receive fake, malware-infested emails from hotel staff asking them to sort out a discrepancy with one of their credit card bills.