Cyber scammers will be out in force this holiday season: FBI

Study finds payment card info most compromised, breach detection lags
Study finds payment card info most compromised, breach detection lags

With Black Friday and the holiday shopping season fast approaching, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning consumers to be on the lookout for cyber scams, particularly those offering “too good to be true” deals.

The possible methods cybercriminals will use to ruin the holiday season, along with their credit rating, for some unwitting shopper are clever, numerous and prey on the one thing everyone is looking for – a good deal, the FBI said in a written statement.

“Scammers use many techniques to defraud consumers by offering too good to be true deals via phishing e-mails advertising brand name merchandise, quick money making offers, or gift cards as an incentive to purchase a product. Remember, if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is,” the FBI noted.

One of the more common tricks is to send phishing emails advertising hard-to-get items. These often end up costing the unsuspecting person all their personal and credit card information. Similar traps are set on social media sites, where offerings like free $500 gift cards are posted seemingly from a friend. But in reality the friend's account was likely compromised and is being used to attract more victims.

Another social media no-no is posting images of concert or theater tickets that were received as gifts online.

“Protect the barcodes on tickets as you would your credit card number. Fraudsters will create a ticket using the barcode obtained from searching around social media sites and resell the ticket,” the FBI warned.

Finally, the FBI said if a consumer is victimized to contact FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov.

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