Check Point shares tips to protect against 10 common scams during New Year’s

Check Point shares tips to protect against 10 common scams during New Year’s

Every year, around this time, as people prepare for Christmas and New Year celebrations, scams start to skyrocket, and according to Check Point, with the arrival of IoT devices, cybercrime has increased dramatically due to the weak security systems we see in These IoT devices range from karaoke machines and connected home appliances like vacuum cleaners and coffee machines, to digital wallets on our mobile phones to new and improved tablets and even smart toys for kids.

According to a recent industry survey, Check Point says users show both caution and risk-taking tendencies during the holiday season, with 88 percent checking online seller reviews before making purchases, although 19 percent admit they are willing to buy from Questionable site.

Check Point shared 10 types of common holiday scams and tips to avoid them:

1. Deceptive social media ads: Direct users to fraudulent online stores that steal credit card information and personal details. Falling prey to such schemes can lead to financial losses and identity theft.

How to avoid it: To protect against scams involving social media ads and fake online stores, research a specific store (look for customer reviews, ratings, and testimonials from trusted sources), be skeptical of deals that seem too good to be true, and install security software To protect devices, monitor financial data for any unauthorized transactions, and report suspicious transactions immediately.

2. Delivery scams: These scams falsely claim that there will be a delay in shipping the product you ordered, or they demand payment fees under the pretext that they are needed to deliver the packages.

How to avoid it: To avoid falling victim to scams involving fake delivery notices, check the source of the message (make sure the text message sender is legitimate). Instead of clicking on the links included in the notification, visit the official website of the delivery service, and enter the tracking number to access accurate and up-to-date information. Furthermore, you can always contact the delivery company directly, using their official contact details, to check the status of your parcel.

3. Fake Charities: Scammers have been known to create fake charities to make profit or steal personal information. Some of these fake charities have been noticed on GoFundMe.

How to avoid them: To stay away from these types of scams, verify the legitimacy of the charity by checking the charity’s website. For crowdfunding campaigns, make sure the cause and organizer are correct, look for details such as the purpose of the campaign, how the funds will be used, and see if you can identify the credibility of the organizer.

4. Fraudulent offers on airline tickets or rare items: Many scams focus on increasing holiday travel-related purchases or exploiting demand for in-demand products, tempting people to mistakenly purchase counterfeit tickets or merchandise.

How to avoid it: Before making a purchase, research the seller and/or website, and be wary if a deal seems too good to be true (unrealistic prices, especially for hard-to-find items, can indicate a scam) Make sure the website has a secure connection (HTTPS, not HTTP), carefully read the terms and conditions of the deal, and trust your gut.

5. Phishing scams: Beware of phishing emails that mimic emails from reputable brands.

Scammers sometimes try to pretend to be representatives of well-known companies (Amazon, Walmart, etc.). These phishing emails use social engineering techniques to illegally obtain passwords, personal data, and financial information.

How to avoid it: Precautions such as reviewing sender information, remaining suspicious of unsolicited communications, and avoiding suspicious links can help. Check for gifts or promotions by visiting the company’s official website. Install reputable security software and update it regularly to enhance protection against phishing attempts.

6. Job Scams: Although job scams are a growing concern throughout the year, they tend to target individuals who want to make extra income around the holidays.

Fake job ads may promise big profits for minimal effort. Scammers usually aim to steal personal information under the guise of a recruitment process, or try to trick people into sending them money in exchange for “supplies and training.”

How to avoid it: To stay away from job scams, people should be careful if compensation seems unrealistic

tion structure. Individuals should also ensure the legitimacy of the organization by checking its official details. Legitimate companies provide transparent and easily verifiable information online.

Furthermore, a generic email address may indicate a job scam, where honest employers maintain a professional online presence. If the job requires paying for supplies or training, it’s best to avoid it. Do not apply for any job opportunity that raises doubts or fears.

7. “Grandparent scams”: These often prey on the elderly, and involve impersonating a distressed grandchild. The “grandson” usually asks for money. In 2022, nearly 400 seniors fell victim to grandparent scams, resulting in losses of more than $4 million.

How to avoid it: People with senior relatives can warn them about this scam. Seniors should ask about urgent requests for financial assistance, especially if they involve bank transfers or gift cards. When in doubt, people who receive suspicious messages are encouraged to directly contact other family members, using known and reliable phone numbers, to investigate the situation.

8. Hacking public Wi-Fi networks: While airports, hotels, cafes, and other frequented locations may provide free public Wi-Fi, these networks are known to be easy to hack. Fraudsters use a technique known as “man-in-the-middle” (MiTM) to intercept data.

How to avoid it: Keep your credit card numbers, passwords and personal details private by avoiding the temptation to shop online on the go. Shop from safe and secure networks only. If you’re concerned about the security of your home network, consider using a VPN, which can encrypt your Internet connection and protect data from interception.

If you make a transaction while abroad, you may want to use your own cellular data network to make the transaction, rather than public Wi-Fi as cellular connections are considered more secure.

9. The risks of connected IoT and mobile entertainment: If you have a seven-hour flight ahead of you, with a two-hour layover, a mobile game can make the time fly by. However, be careful when choosing a mobile game – some of them may compromise your device’s security. While using an IoT device, be sure to take stronger security measures to enhance safety. For example, for smart toys, cybercriminals can eavesdrop on children, webcams can be used to record you changing your clothes, and voice assistants can spy on your home.

How to avoid this: Before downloading any app, do a quick online search to gather information about it. Carefully review the permissions you request. Note that a legitimate game should not require permission to send text messages or share information with third parties. To further protect your IoT devices, secure everything properly out of the box, make sure to use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication (MFAs), install firewalls and update devices, dispose of other unused IoT devices, and use a VPN where possible that. If your child gets a new device, be sure to carefully educate them about the benefits and risks and help them secure the device, understand the threats lurking online and how to respond in the event of an attack.

10. Business Email Scams (BEC): Scammers impersonate company executives through email and text messages.

These scams result in billions of dollars in losses annually. They exploit urgency and authority, trying to convince individuals to pay bills for events such as holiday parties or respond to requests for fake invoices.

How to avoid it: If you think you may have encountered a BEC scam, check for red flags, look at the sender’s email address again, and confirm requests with executives (via separate, verified communication channels). Furthermore, keep your software, operating systems, and security systems up to date. Report suspected BEC scams to your IT department or others involved.

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