12 Dangers of Christmas

The Internet is brilliant for finding out information, connecting with people and shopping online. During the countdown to Christmas you will be trying to fit in the last bits of your Christmas shopping. We want to ensure that you don’t succumb to any online scams. Make sure you are aware of our 12 Dangers of Christmas.

1. Download a Google Doc

You may receive an email asking you to open a Google Doc you have been sent from one of your contacts. Our advice would be to not open it or check it’s genuine first. If you are logged into your Google account the hacker is able to gain access to your login details. If you do click on the link you should change your Google password straightaway. We advise that you set up an out of office as well letting people know you have been hacked so that others don’t click the link you may have sent them.

2. Amazon Refund

Emails from what appears to be Amazon are now being sent stating that there is a refund waiting for you that you are unaware of. We advise you not to click on this. If you have clicked on this change your Amazon password immediately and contact your credit card company and let them know.

3. Email Bounce Backs

If you start to notice several email bounce backs in your inbox, then someone may have gained access to your emails. We advise that you change your password immediately.

4. Telephone Call from Microsoft

If you receive a phone call from someone that claims to be from Microsoft be wary. There are several of these calls occurring that are phishing for your passwords.

5. eBay Buy It Now Scam

Be wary if you are selling goods on eBay, especially Apple products. If you set a ‘Buy It Now’ on the item, you may get an immediate purchase. The person will then email you asking to see further photos or information as it is for a gift. The person will then use your email address to send you phishing emails masquerading as PayPal to convince you that the money has been paid and to send the item. They may even start sending you emails pretending to be the FBI threatening to arrest you.

6. Phishing Email – Swearing

A new form of phishing email has been seen recently where expletives are used to gain attention. The email in question had a receipt attached and the individual used expletives while questioning why they were receiving a receipt from a website they had never bought anything from. The aim of this is to scare the recipient into opening the potentially harmful attachment.

7. PayPal and DoS Attack

We’ve recently heard about PayPal accounts being hacked. The hackers purchase goods and then flood your inbox with thousands of spam email messages signing you up to different websites in the hope of you not noticing the transactions have taken place. This is a Denial of Service attack, the email address in question can no longer be used as the inbox is just flooded every day.

8. Greeting Card Scams

Email greetings cards are becoming more and more popular. Please be aware that sometimes this can download malware to your computer. The malware installed can then masquerade as credible sites and gain your personal information.

9. Inheritance Fraud

You may receive a letter or email from someone masquerading as a lawyer saying that you are in line for a large sum of money from an inheritance fund. They will say that they can help you claim the money, if you respond you will then be asked to be pay for a number of fees to help get the money which you will never receive.

10. Domain names

Businesses are sometimes contacted and put under pressure to pay excessive fees for a domain name because a third party is about to buy it. For example, someone offering acutec.com to ACUTEC which has acutec.co.uk as its primary domain. There will be no third party and the domain is more than likely not available.

11. Fake Websites

Some fraudsters like to set up fake retailer websites that look like the genuine article. They will use the same logos, design and layouts. The biggest clue that these websites are not genuine is through asking you to pay via money order or wire transfer. You are likely to never receive the goods and lose your money.

12. Social Media

Phishing is not just happening via email. Be careful of the messages you get on social media; they may not be from a legitimate source. One example you may see is if you tweet your bank someone may intercept the conversation with a very similar Twitter handle to your bank and try to gain your details.

If you have any concerns regarding your Internet security or would just like some general IT Support then please do not hesitate to get in contact with ACUTEC.