The Niagara Gazette reports on the so-called “12 scams of Christmas”—the top 12 ways that criminals rip off consumers as they shop for the holidays. According to Caribbean Cruise Line, scams like these include those advertising free cruises.
An article in the Niagara Gazette reports on McAfee’s “Top 12 Scams of Christmas”. Approximately 70% of participants in the security technology firm’s 2012 Holiday Shopping Study said they would shop online this holiday season. One in four of these people said they plan to use their mobile devices and, in the process, disclose their personal information in order to receive an offer that is of value to them.
Mobile devices are attractive to cybercriminals, who are increasingly using malicious applications in order to scam consumers. American consumers often leave themselves vulnerable to scams around times of increased shopping—roughly three in ten smartphone and/or tablet owners admitted they do not pay attention to app permissions.
Several holiday scams are widely used already, but will take on a fresh spin as the season draws near. Social media scams will advertise the hottest holiday gifts or persuade you to install apps to receive discounts. Malicious mobile apps may steal your information or send out premium-rate texts without your knowledge.
Travel scams are on the rise during the holiday season, as well, notes a representative from Caribbean Cruise Line. “Scams target people who are looking to get away for the holidays as well as those who want to visit their families. A common travel scam will offer a free cruise, pressuring you to give up your credit card or other personal information.”
Phony travel web pages may exist even for your preferred company, including beautiful pictures and rock-bottom prices.
“All of these tactics are designed to get your money,” says the representative from Caribbean Cruise Line. “Scammers will stop at nothing to steal from you, including taking advantage of your emotions.”
These are just some of the most common scams perpetrated against consumers during the holiday season.
“Using multiple devices provides the bad guys with more ways to access your valuable ‘Digital Assets,’ such as personal information and files, especially if the devices are under-protected,” says McAffee Labs’ director, Paula Greve. “One of the best ways for consumers to protect themselves is to learn about the criminals’ tricks, so they can avoid them.”
Caribbean Cruise Line recently created the Caribbean Cruise Line Scam Watch, which offers valuable information on how to avoid travel scams. Their flagship, the Bahamas Celebration, was voted “Best Bahamas Getaway Cruise” 3 years in a row by Porthole Magazine.