scams, cybersecurity

Tis the season for SCAMS! Don't fall for them! Hackers and scammers know that now is the best time to get around all your cybersecurity. This is the time of the year when people are all swamped with work, plans, events, and are just generally less likely to scrutinize an email or phone call. Make sure you don’t fall for a scam because you’re in a hurry. Below is a list of some of the top scams we see around this time of the year.

  • Fake orders: You get a call or an email saying there is a pending charge for something on your credit card, press one to talk to a rep. Maybe it's from Amazon or Best Buy, maybe it's for earbuds or a new laptop. Any way you look at it, it's bogus. Hang up. Call your credit card company if you are truly worried, but don't give anyone that CALLS YOU info
  • Fake gift exchanges: You see a post to send a gift and in return, you will get something too! Most of these are bogus, focusing on you SENDING something to receive, and guess what, you won't ever receive. This is like the old chain letter, back before the days on the internet! Don’t fall for it!
  • Gift Cards: This is a big one all year long! Around Christmas, you usually see it as gift cards from a major company my wife got an email just yesterday saying that Walgreens would give her $100 because they are just so nice. She reported it as spam and then deleted it, but it’s amazing how many people fall for these scams. If companies are going to give anything away it will be on their website, and on top of that, they will want SOMETHING in return, even if it’s just your email so they can send you marketing emails. In general, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.  The other major fraud we see is someone sending in a bogus email pretending to be the boss and asking for an employee to go buy gift cards.  It might be for a 'holiday giveway' or some other fake reason, but if you get this kind of email, ALWAYS verify it's real with the person who sent it by calling them.  Don't trust the email and verify with another method of communication.
  • Fake Charities: This one always hits you in the ‘feels’. Someone sends out fake emails, ads, or texts claiming to be from a charity. Maybe they use the name of a real charity, but the place they have you sending the money is NOT for the real charity. If you want to give to a charity, I recommend going directly to their website and giving that way. Then you can be sure the charity you want to support is getting what you want them to get.
  • Fake Tracking: You get an email saying it’s from FedEx or UPS with an update to that highly anticipated gift! *Click* and BAM, Malware. FedEx / UPS / USPS aren’t sending attachments via email with an update. They might send you an email, but it will never have an attachment and they won’t request info from you. The best bet is just to go to the website and put in the tracking number you have to check the status of that shipment.
  • DEAL DEAL DEAL! If you see an ad for a great-priced, highly sought-after item, it’s probably a scam. Only buy from reputable dealers and be careful even buying items from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and other marketplaces. Check out who the actual seller is – Big retailers won’t sell bogus gear, but someone using their marketplace might.
  • Utility Scams: You are supposed to have the whole family over in about an hour and you get a call, you haven’t paid your electric bill and if you don’t right now they will cut off power to your house! In a panicked rush, you give them a credit card over the phone, only to realize that it was a scam later that night. DON’T give anyone info over the phone if you aren’t 100% sure who they are! If you think it might be the electric company, politely tell them there are a lot of scams going around and you are going to hang up and call the electric company directly to pay the bill. Accidents happen, but don’t give up information in a panic!

Here is the part where we tie into this post! If you are running a business, you don’t want your staff to fall for these scams, which is why you need top-notch email security solutions to protect your staff and YOUR data. The last thing you want to have happened is for your company to get ransomware or have some hacker poking around in your network because your employee wanted to get a ‘great deal’ or was worried about a fake notification while they were at work. We partner with top cybersecurity vendors to bring you the best in email security and network security. Our goal is to make sure your business stays protected from the bad guys so you can enjoy the holidays, secure in your knowledge that all your small business cybersecurity needs have been taken care of.

So, Call BS on those internet scams today and give us a call to take. Ask about our CyberCare cybersecurity package to make sure you have a Merry Christmas!