6 Tricky Phishing Scams to Look Out for During This Holiday Season
As we head into the holiday season, are you aware of the increased threat to your organization’s network? In this article, we go over the six most common phishing scams employed by cybercriminals.
Like most of us, you’re probably looking forward to the holiday season to brighten up what has been a pretty tough year. However, you can’t afford to let your guard down when it comes to your organization’s network security.
Why? It’s because the holiday season provides the ideal conditions for hackers and other bad actors to carry out their criminal activities. The increased volume of online shopping typically results in an alarming rise in email phishing during this period. Should one of your employees trigger an intrusion or infection, it could spell disaster for your business.
This article explores the six most prevalent phishing scams so you can enjoy a safe holiday season. Are you interested in learning more? Let’s begin!
What Are The 6 Most Common Holiday Scams You Need To Be on The Look Out For During The Holiday Season?
- Fake Receipts and Invoices: Cybercriminals love hiding the malicious codes in attachments. This way, they can easily sneak malware past your cybersecurity measures, making this a widespread phishing strategy. Because more people shop online over the holidays, their inboxes will be filled with considerably more receipts, invoices, and order confirmations. During any other time of the year, you’d probably be suspicious of an unexpected email from Amazon. During the holidays, however, you wouldn’t think twice about opening an attached PDF.
- Fake Shipping Status Alerts: Just like fake invoices, phony shipping updates can easily make their way into your inbox if you’re not vigilant. In fact, this may be a more effective strategy as it relies on causing you to worry about an issue with a purchase you’ve already made rather than a fake one. If you’re expecting a UPS delivery, how concerned would you be if you got a notice from “UPS” claiming that your package is delayed? Likely, you’d click through almost instantly!
- Fake Flyers and Deals: When the holiday shopping rush reaches its peak, the average person typically goes through around a dozen advertisement emails every day. When you’re skimming through such emails, note any messages from vendors or stores you haven’t shopped with before. While such digital flyers could be advertising a lot, the only thing you’ll probably get by clicking through is a virus infection. Alternatively, you may lose money on orders you’ll never receive.
- Malicious Embedded Link: Much like attachments, embedded links are another common strategy for downloading malware to a system. They might also redirect you to an infected website. Whatever the case, always take some time to hover your cursor above any links that end up in your inbox. While the hyperlink may seem legit, the actual link could paint a completely different picture.
- Unauthorized Transaction: Keeping track of your bank account is always a good idea, particularly over the holiday season. But to be fair, keeping an eye on every single holiday purchase can be a tall order. However, it’s crucial to make sure you made all your purchases. A hacker only needs one website with flimsy security standards to gain your credit card information. Do you really want to fund someone else’s shopping habits?
- Fake Customer Surveys: Any online survey that offers gift cards or cash for completing it is probably a scam. But how do you differentiate between a phishing attempt and an offer from a legitimate organization? You can usually identify a hoax by the final survey questions-if they ask for personal or financial information.
Need the Most Reliable IT Support in Canton, Ohio During the Holidays?
Our accomplished cybersecurity experts at ARCIS Technology Group are eager to help you defend your business against holiday phishing scams.
Contact us now to get started!