Spammers and criminals working hard to trick Christmas shoppers

By Derek Sooman on December 14, 2005, 7:03 PM
‘Tis the season to be Jolly and it also seems to be the season for Spammers and Internet criminals to try their absolute hardest to trick Xmas shoppers. With more people doing their Xmas shopping on the Net than ever before, IT security firm Sophos is urging people to be very careful buying last minute gifts on the Net as spammers and scammers are "working overtime" to trick people during the holiday season.

"Lurking behind that offer for a faux Rolex or Louis Vuitton knockoff may be a more sinister transaction that goes well beyond the usual con," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

"In an effort to save time and money by shopping online, frantic consumers may also be inviting criminals onto computers - opening up the possibility of credit card fraud and identity theft."

Sophos have a number of tips for you to follow to avoid joining the ranks of the conned, these include being aware of people selling merchandise via unsolicited email, not being fooled by Xmas e-mails, being alert about the dangers of Phishing scams, and thinking before you click on a URL. These are good tips for all year round, in fact.




User Comments: 6

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omer718 said:
My advice is to buy from major websites as much as possible to avoid being scamed. I've been tricked like that before and I know how it feels . And it sure does NOT feel good!!
Mofoed said:
Yes, buy from reputable site that have been around for awhile. Use common sense and caution.
mentaljedi said:
I third that. When buying from a website, never go for the non-established ones that say things like a rolex watch for 1.99 (Okay, exadurating but youknow). Also, give your computer a good sweep for spyware to get rid of keylogging. Also, MAKE SURE TO LOG OUT! IT's essential as there is already this thing going around taking control of computers. If you don't log out, perhaps someone may try to take advantage of that. Always take caution, but if you don't feel safe, don't do it.
mrprimo55 said:
One thing a lot of people don't think to look for is to see if the site is secure. When in the checkout process or in the shopping cart of the website, check to see if the URL for the site is https, not http. Also, I'm not sure about all browsers but I know that with Firefox, if the site secure it will show an icon of a lock and then address box will turn another color. Just keep that in mind, it might help you see the difference between a legit site and one trying to scam you.
spike said:
[quote]but I know that with Firefox, if the site secure it will show an icon of a lock and then address box will turn another color.[/quote]Unless of course there's an unsecured element in the page, like a banner image perhaps.Also of not here is that the shopping cart itself doesn't nessecarily need to be secure (ssl) if the checkout is processed via a third party credit card processor (such as worldpay). It's the credit card processors pages that need to be secure.
mentaljedi said:
[b]Originally posted by spike:[/b][quote][quote]but I know that with Firefox, if the site secure it will show an icon of a lock and then address box will turn another color.[/quote]Unless of course there's an unsecured element in the page, like a banner image perhaps.Also of not here is that the shopping cart itself doesn't nessecarily need to be secure (ssl) if the checkout is processed via a third party credit card processor (such as worldpay). It's the credit card processors pages that need to be secure.[/quote]Yes of course. It needs to be a joint effort, one cannot soley put all the responsibility on the website.
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