Holiday phishing and malware scams have just begun

As this holiday season approaches, cybersecurity researchers warn users to be aware of potential holiday scams and malicious cyber campaigns, particularly when browsing or shopping online.

Starting today hackers have released emails and ecards containing malicious links or attachments infected with malware or may send spoofed emails requesting support for fraudulent charities or causes.

For example, during the last holidays, many bad things have happed when everyone was attracted by the spirit of Christmas and because of this hackers managed to score big hits on cyberspace.

The number one scam encountered in this period is the tech support scam that makes more than $15 million per year for hackers.

Many of these scams are using fake pop up ads as a delivery method, and are designed to induce fear and panic using things as scary countdowns until HDD fry, fake attention message for hacked devices or fake virus detection. 

Don’t think they are just funny and no one takes the bite! Sadly cybersecurity researchers have reported that 2 out of 3 users encountered this type of ads and after this 1 of 5 were scammed. More interesting is that young people between 18 and 34 are frequently scammed, surprising is the fact that older ones that over 55 are much harder to be fooled by the hackers.  

Most of the time these pop-ups use a method of getting in touch easily with fake tech support, which usually is a fake toll-free number. 

Be aware! Most of the time the number is not toll-free and the gravest danger is not this, is that you’re ending up contacting the hacker directly. As soon as you make contact with the hacker he will demand remote control of your device and run fake tests which will reveal big problems that require the immediate attention of a certified technician. 

Most of the cases end up with the so-called technician installing fake antivirus software or fake support products that will cost you hundreds of dollars. 

Fake support scams are just one of how a hacker can trick you, to stay safe and secure we advise everyone to take a look at the following basic rules:

  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments
  • Use caution when shopping online.
  • Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations.
  • Never access or be scared of any pop-up messages and ads
  • Don’t send money to unknown persons over the internet
  • Don’t let anyone unknown access your device via remote connection