About Us | Contact Us
View Cart

Holiday Season Cyber Scammers Target Victims

By Dan Hadaway | Monday, December 1, 2008 - Leave a Comment

The FBI is reminding people this holiday season that cyber criminals continue to aggressively seek ways to steal money and personal information. Scammers are using several techniques to fool potential victims including sending unsolicited e-mails that contain attachments such as electronic greeting cards containing malware (malicious software), setting up spoofing websites that look like legitimate commercial sites, and unleashing phishing and vishing attacks where individuals receive e-mails asking for personal data.

“These cyber scammers will do whatever they can to steal your money and personal
information this holiday season and are trying many different ways to commit these
crimes. The best way to protect yourself is to report these scams to law enforcement
or the Internet Crime Complaint Center, IC3,” said Shawn Henry, Assistant Director, FBI Cyber Division, Washington, D.C.

In the greeting card scam, the cards, which are also referred to as e-cards or postcards,
are being sent via spam. Like many other Internet fraud schemes, the criminals use
social engineering tactics to entice the victim, claiming the card is from a family member or friend. Although there have been variations in the spam message and attached
malware, generally the spam directs the recipient to click the link provided in
the e-mail to view the e-card. Upon clicking the link, the recipient is unknowingly
taken to a malicious webpage.

Spoofing scams are when criminals create a false or shadow copy of a real website
or e-mail in a way that misleads the recipient. All network traffic between the
victim’s browser and the shadow page are sent through the spoofer’s machine. This
allows the spoofer to acquire personal information, such as passwords, credit card
numbers, and account numbers.

Even though the e-mail looks like the real thing, complete with authentic logos
and working web links, it’s a fake. The website where you’re told to enter your
account information is also fake. In some instances, really slick spoofers direct
you to the genuine website, then pop up a window over the site that captures your
personal information. The information entered does not go to the legitimate site,
but rather to the spoofer’s account. The information you entered will most likely
be sold to criminals, who’ll use it to ruin your credit and drain your account.

In phishing and vishing attacks, individuals report receiving e-mails or text messages
indicating a problem with their account. They are directed to follow the link provided
in the message to update their account or correct the problem. The link actually
directs the individuals to a fraudulent website that looks legitimate where their
personal information, such as account number and PIN, is compromised.

Other reported scams have included victims receiving an e-mail message asking them
to complete an online survey. At the end of the survey, they are asked for their
personal account information to allow funds to be credited to the account in appreciation
for completing the survey. Providing this information will allow criminals to compromise
the account.

Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cyber fraud:

  • Do not respond to unsolicited (spam) e-mail.
  • Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail.
  • Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders.
  • Avoid filling out forms in e-mail messages that ask for personal information.
  • Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link that you are actually directed to.
  • Log on to the official website, instead of “linking” to it from an unsolicited e-mail.
  • Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify if the e-mail is genuine.

Posted in Vulnerability News

Latest News
    Today we present a special BONUS awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  This update to the April 2022 Awareness Poster takes some cues from the Dan’s New Leaf article: Why Local? Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Check out posters.infotex.com for the […]
    Awareness is 9/11’s of the battle, if we use it! Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . One of my old college buddies hates banks.  He was turned down for a loan a long time ago and just can’t let go.  I actually […]
    PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SERVICE NEWS Dateline: Dayton, IN, June 22, 2022 We are proud to announce that infotex will now be supporting Endpoint Detection and Response (XDR/MDR)! We can manage/monitor solutions you already have or offer one as part of our service while still maintaining a segregated response posture. In recent years […]
    Over 85 percent of surveyed companies report having no  centralized monitoring of networked industrial devices… An article review. If you are involved in IT within your organization, you’re probably aware of the importance of being able to monitor relevant activity from your networked devices, especially if your organization is involved in healthcare, finance, or government.  […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Check out posters.infotex.com for the whole collection! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around […]
    We always strive to bring you the best content that we possibly can. Your opinion on any content, presentation, service, or anything else you have received from us is important! Please click the button below to let us know how we are doing!  
    What to Expect in an Annual Information Security Report to the Board Webinar-Movie Information security ranks as a top risk to financial institutions, both in terms of likelihood and overall impact. It is important that boards receive annual comprehensive reporting from management about the information security risks and incidents, and the actions taken to address […]
    The Five Precepts of IT Vendor Management Webinar-Movie We’re going back to basics on Vendor Management. This webinar will give you a training tool to help out that new person that is starting to take on the gargantuan task that is Vendor Management.
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Check out posters.infotex.com for the whole collection! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around […]
    The joint cybersecurity advisory includes the 15 most exploited vulnerabilities reported in 2021… An article review.  While a lot of attention is focused on previously undisclosed or “zero day” attacks, some of the most likely attack vectors are vulnerabilities that have been widely known for weeks or even months.  That’s according to a new joint […]