The Seventh Scam of Christmas, Phishing and SMiShing!

For the Seventh Scam of Christmas the criminals gave to me phishing – but the big phish is me!

My father in law mentioned that he got an email saying that he had a package that they couldn’t deliver and he wondered what to do. The answer is nothing! This is a classic scam and one that counts on the victim rushing and not thinking things through. You have to stop and think – how does the postal service, UPS or Fed Ex have your email address? They do not, so do not click on that link.

From July through September, McAfee found nearly 2,700 phishing URL’s per day. These links get sent out in emails claiming to be from delivery services, banks, PayPal, etc – all trying to dupe you into giving up your bank password or credit card information.

Criminals have devised a new version of Spam called SMiShing. In this scam, the victim gets a fake text message on their phone “alerting” you that your bank account has been compromised. Again, if your bank had been compromised your bank would send a letter not a text message.

In all of these scams, the criminals are hoping that you will be busy and not think through the contact method or that you will simply click on a link and be brought to their phony website. To avoid these scams, remember the following:

1. STOP and THINK before you open that next email AND before you type your personal information into your keyboard.

2. USPS, UPS and Fed Ex will not email you to let you know that they tried to deliver something or that you owe postage. (They only email tracking information if you specifically request it on their website.)

3. Never open or click on email if you don’t know the sender.

4. Ask your bank if they ever send out emails to customers. If you think you received a true email from a website you use, do not click on a link in the email – manually type in the address yourself and verify the site is real.

5. Set a security suite software to automatically update so your computer is protected.

6. Make pa$$w0rds for banking and financial sites extra hard using letters, symbols and numbers.

Stay safe out there and Happy Holidays!



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