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Email scams more frequent during online holiday shopping season

Posted December 18, 2014

online shopping

Millions of people shop online during the holiday season, making it the ideal time for cybercriminals to strike with email spam notifications.

The sophisticated scams exploit thousands of shoppers every year, according to the Better Business Bureau.

"Everybody is all excited. They're shopping, they're shipping, and scammers love this because we're all trusting," Claire Rosenzweig, with the BBB, said.

Online orders are tracked by confirmations and delivery updates. Scammers posing as retailers, banks or even shipping companies send emails that look real with subject lines like "Order Confirmation," "Status Notification" or "Package Undeliverable."

"If you open these links or attachments, there is a good chance you are putting Malware of Spyware onto your computer," Rosenzweig said. "It can sit there dormant and take your keystrokes months down the line, so you may as well just open up all your personal information."

Scammers go after passwords and bank account numbers.

Shoppers who receive an email from someone they don't know or a website they don't recognize should be 100 percent sure about its origin before opening it or clicking links within a message.

If emails ask for personal information without a log in, they are likely fake.


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