Think those Cyber Monday deals are steals? Some may well may be, but in a different context.
While its known for deeply discounted merchandise online, Cyber Monday is also an opportunity for cyberthieves to stuff their stockings with your credit card information and commit identity theft.
“From fraudulent auction sales to gift card, phishing, and social networking scams and more, cyber crime schemes are ever-evolving and, unfortunately, still successful,” the FBI said.
Pay attention to the following tips, courtesy of the bureau, to have a safe Cyber Monday:
· Purchase merchandise only from reputable sellers, and be suspicious of websites that do not provide contact information; also be wary if the seller only accepts wire transfers or cash.
· Do not respond to or click on links contained within unsolicited (spam) email.
· Be cautious of emails claiming to contain pictures in attached files; the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Scan the attachments for viruses if possible.
· Log on directly to the official website for the business identified in the e-mail instead of linking to it from an unsolicited email. If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.
· Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the email to verify that the email is genuine.
· If you are asked to act quickly or told there is an emergency that requires your attention, it may be a scam. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly.
· Remember -- if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
For more Cyber Monday safety tips and information on online fraud, go to LooksTooGoodToBeTrue.com. The website was set up by a number of law enforcement agencies and was funded through the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI.
Were you duped by a too-good-to-be-true Cyber Monday deal? Submit your complaint to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) via this link. The IC3 is a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NWC3.)