Given the holiday season, life is busier, and we are shopping more than usual. And I bet your Inbox and phone are often sending confirmations about purchases, shipments, and deliveries.
This is a friendly reminder to stay sharp – even a bit skeptical – of these confirmations.
During the holiday season, scammers crank up the volume of phishing attempts. These are emails, phone calls and texts telling us a delivery is delayed, our credit card was declined, or some other warning that entices us to click or disclose personal information.
Don’t fall for it.
Think before you click.
Every time you get an e-mail, text message, or phone call that seems to feel extra urgent, take a pause and think whether it really applies to you. And maybe you can validate that message some other way, instead of clicking on the link provided. Could you type in the real website, or call the right number, yourself, to validate that ‘dire warning’? It is worth adding a few minutes of your time. Be a little skeptical and avoid falling victim to the wave of phishing attempts to grab your shopping account and credit card numbers.
Remember, being ‘security aware’ isn’t being afraid, it’s being informed.
Here are a couple of examples of current scams:
- Text or email regarding a fraudulent Amazon purchase on my credit card. ‘Please press 1 to get this matter resolved.’
- Grandparents targeted by fraudsters indicating the grandchild has been in an accident and needs money immediately.
In both examples, personal information is initially acquired through email phishing and/or data theft that enabled the end fraud attempt over the phone.
Please see this joint article from the American Association of Retired People (AARP)/US Department of Justice (DOJ).
Have a safe and happy holiday season!
Mariner Security Solutions Team