“The Cyber-Grinch and Cyber-Scrooge hated Christmas!
The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be their monitors weren’t screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps, that their USB ports were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all,
May have been that their hard drives were two sizes too small.”
Tis the season for laughter, cheer, mulled wine, and carols sung with kindly Old Fezziwig’s ghost smiling down upon your merry band of friends and family. And it is also time for the annual Christmas scam.
Beware, fair reader! The Cyber-Grinch and Cyber-Scrooge are out to bah-humbug your holidays. And they’re prepared to do it, growling, with their Grinch and Scrooge fingers nervously drumming, saying “I MUST find some way to stop Christmas from coming!”
The Scams of Christmas Past, Present, and Future
Holiday e-Cards: Beware! The Cyber-Grinch and Cyber-Scrooge have been known to send Christmas e-Cards containing malware. You click on a link and suddenly your computer is being used as a zombie bot!
Holiday or Year-End News Headlines: Tis the season to get trapped by an email that looks like it’s coming from a friend or major news outlet. You click on the fake link that says “CNN Announces the 2014 Person of the Year” and you’ve got malware!
Fake Banking Emails: Is your financial institution really offering you a special Christmas gift this season if you click on a link and “confirm” your user name, password, and account numbers? Hmm, let’s think twice about this.
The Christmas Phish: No. This isn’t the delicious fish that many Europeans serve on Christmas. This is a special kind of “phish” made just for you. Sometimes seen in the form of a fake email from UPS or FedEx, this Christmas Phish smells terrible and attempts to get you to fill in the blanks with all your confidential information!
The Christmas Charity Scam: No, Cyber-Grinch and Cyber-Scrooge aren’t trying to raise money for poor little Cindy Lou Who and Tiny Tim. If you receive an email in your inbox from a charity you’ve never done business with, (even if you’ve heard of them), don’t assume the email is real. Legitimate charities do not send emails to customers that aren’t already on their mailing lists.
Amazon Ads: Shop at Amazon? Watch out for fake emails pretending to be from Amazon telling you your order is delayed because the wrong delivery information has been entered. These criminals want you to click on the link and enter your personal contact and credit card information.
Backoff Point-of-Sale Malware: According to FBI reports, the “Backoff” malware was installed on close to 1,000 consumer business credit card systems. Every time you swipe your credit card your data could be stolen! Check your credit statement regularly!
“I wish I had them here. I’d give them a page from my Website to surf upon, and I hope they’d have a good interest in it. I wish only ill-health on such odious, cheating, unfeeling criminals!”—Mrs. Bob Cratchit on Cyber-Scrooge and Cyber-Grinch
Free WiFi: Have you spent the entire day running around shopping and all you want to do is sit for five minutes, have a cup of coffee, and surf the web. And, suddenly you see a shop offering free WiFi. What you don’t know is that the security on this “free WiFi” is abysmal and Cyber-Scrooge and Cyber-Grinch are lurking in the background ready to steal your credit card data when you make that online purchase!
The CYREN team wishes you and your family happy holidays – stay safe!
Read more about trends in Internet threats to stay ahead of any scams, now or in the future – check out CYREN’s quarterly Internet Threats Trend Report