Top Cyber Monday Scams!

1. Malicious Mobile Malware:  most of these are targeting our smart phones! 

Jolly advised consumers to be aware of suspicious quick response (QR) codes.

So these QR, those quick response codes, you scan them and they can take right you to a website or a coupon or to a magazine article - or right to the laps of the cyber-criminals."

SOOOO....only download apps from official app stores, from iTunes or from the Android app store. Download an app to preview the QR code first.   You can use an app called RedLaser and that will at least let you check out what that URL is, what that web address is.

"If it's .exe, don't go to it."


2. Fake Facebook/Twitter Promotions:

Social media sites are great places for companies large and small to create targeted promotions. But unfortunately, they are also great places for scammers to post phony promotions aimed at grabbing your information and money.

Posts appear to be from friends, but are actually spam messages distributed through malicious code. Once you click on the link and arrive at the scam page, you are asked to "share" the promotion by clicking on a "like" button that automatically posts to your wall with the scam. You are then offered a choice of surveys that ask for your personal information. Your information is subsequently passed along to spam lists.

So how can you tell a legitimate social media promotion from a fake one? Here are some tips to help you identify these promotional scams:

A. Don't give any private information

B. Use a direct link to company page

C. Visit retailers' websites directly if possible (e.g., vs searching "Amazon" on Google)


3. Fake Bank/Shipping Alerts:

Be leery of e-mails or text messages you receive indicating a problem or question regarding your financial accounts. If you are requested to act quickly or there is an emergency, it may be a scam. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act impulsively. In this kind of scam, you are directed to follow a link or call the number provided in the message to update your account or correct the problem. The link actually directs the individual to a fraudulent Web site or message that appears legitimate; however, any personal information you provide, such as account number and personal identification number (PIN), will be stolen. This can be from a bank - there's a fake one from UPS going around. It could even be from a hotel you recently stayed in saying there's a problem with your bill.

So what should you do?

YOU shouldn't click links, call a number or give any information out. You should instead call your bank directly.


4. "It" Gift/Coupon Scams:

Every year there are hot holiday gifts, such as toys and gadgets that sell out early in the season. When a gift is hot, not only do sellers mark up the price, but scammers will also start advertising these gifts on rogue websites and social networks, even if they don't have them. Consumers could wind up paying for an item and giving away credit card details only to receive nothing in return. Once the scammers have the personal financial details, there is little recourse.

One popular scam is to lure consumers with the hope of winning a "free" iPad. Consumers click on a "phishing" site, which can result in email spam and possibly dealing with identify theft.


So what should you do?


Use internet security software that features browsing protection. Additionally, she suggested users always check a site's URL before making any purchase (look to make sure you're at the correct online store and that the page URL begins with https://, which usually means it's secure).



According to cyber security firm F-Secure, these items will be the most targeted gifts this year:


Apple IPhone 4s

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2" DVD

"Angry Birds: Knock on Wood Game"

Steve Jobs biography

Fijit Friends Willa Interactive Toy

Michael Buble "Christmas" album

Apple iPad 2

Kindle Fire tablet

Silver "Heart" pendants

"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3"