By: Denise Koslowsky
The biggest shopping day of the year is coming. Experts are projecting sales of more than $7.5 billion on Black Friday. Criminals are likely to follow the money and take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers. With the number of people turning to online shopping increasing each year, the biggest place thieves will be lurking is your inbox.
Cyber criminals often play on our fears and try to scare us out of our money. Links and attachments delivering malware or phishing scams trying to gain your login credentials are a huge threat and they often use a hook to lure us. Some common tactics include emails:
Don’t let the stress of the holiday season get in the way of your thinking. Cyber criminals want you to give into your initial panic upon receiving their email and respond without thinking. Be mindful so that you can protect yourself and your family by following these simple rules:
Cyber Extortion is also a serious threat. The latest scam entails a cyber criminal calling from your financial institution with a caller id that identifies them as your bank. The thieves have sent a convincing e-mail instructing you to click on a link that allows them to hack into your bank account. Their last step is to inform you that you will be getting an email with a 4 digit code which has actually been generated by your bank which they want you to give them and once they do…your money disappears. If you get any calls that are similar to this, we urge you to hand up the phone right away and call your financial institution. The large national banks that we checked with state that they will never ask for confidential information over the phone, such as use names, passwords or PIN numbers send via e-mail or text.
Advocate wants you to relax and enjoy this holiday season with your family and friends! A number of our carriers have cyber security products that provide added peace of mind. We invite you to take a look at their offerings and give us a call with any questions you may have. We look forward to speaking with you.