The festive season means fun with friends and family, goodwill and giving. Sadly, ’tis also a prime time for cybercrooks to cook up nefarious schemes.
A few scams are specific to the holidays, but most are variations on everyday fraud, ramped up to match seasonal spikes in spending and web traffic. Not surprisingly, they often center on shopping, especially online. As real retailers roll out their seasonal deals, scammers seek to snare bargain-hunting shoppers with bogus websites and social media campaigns that impersonate major brands. These “spoofing” sites and fake posts entice you to spend money for products you’ll never receive.
Further, many are vehicles for harvesting credit card numbers and other personal data that criminals use to commit identity theft or sell on the dark web. Scammers may distribute malware-loaded links or attachments via supposed coupon offers or “order confirmation” emails. Fraud involving drained gift cards — hugely popular for both giving and receiving — also shift into high gear.
Scam Tracking Map
No matter where you live, fraud is never far away. Report a scam or search for existing scams near you.