Like it or not, the holiday commercials have already started running. Since the holiday season also brings higher rates of travel and package delivery, please be wary of another identity theft scam. These scams are typically through email with an alert notifying you about airline reservations or a package. If you follow the instructions, you may end up downloading malware designed to take control of your computer and turn it into a spamming robot, harm it with a virus, or mine your files for financial information. Following the link will take you to a site that looks real but is fake. When you log in, it captures your user name a password so criminals can get into your real accounts.
Historically, those threats were limited to your PC, which should be protected with security software. Today, so much is done via smart phones a door has been opened to “smishing” (a word play on “phishing”-short message service (aka texting) ) The best plan is to not open these emails and definitely do not open the links.
The Better Business Bureau named phishing as its top scam of 2011 and fake sigtes are more believable than ever.
Protect yourself by never clicking on a link to your on-line accounts through email or calling an account related phone number in a text message someone sends you. Instead, type in addresses you know are trustworthy to track your travel plans and packages.
Travelling and receiving packages is a great thrill especially this time of year–let’s keep it safe!
For more tips on id theft protection, visit www.hvshred.com