Tis’ the Season to be Scammed

Shoppers Beware – It’s Scamming Season

As the holidays quickly approach, scammers are using holiday deals as a way to target customers.  This approach is not new, but shoppers must be aware of the risk.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching, and the deals are already showing up in news feeds and emails.  It is critical shoppers understand the risk of clicking on malicious links disguised as online ads or store sites.  It may sound far-fetched, that hackers would create lookalike sites of popular shopping webpages, but it’s actually far too easy.  Dodi Glenn, PC Matic’s vice president of cyber security states,

“Unfortunately, it is too easy to create lookalike sites. Anyone with the right software can download complete websites, and make a few changes, then upload the “site” to another domain.”

By doing so, hackers are able to obtain all of the information shoppers would use in a normal checkout process.  This includes names, addresses, and credit card information.  It also wouldn’t be too surprising to request users to “login” to shop.  By doing so, hackers could obtain email addresses and passwords.  This leads to additional risks.  Think about how many times you use the same password for various sites.  If hackers were to require a login, they would have your email address, password (likely one commonly used), address, and credit card data.  Scary right?!

Beyond creating fake websites, hackers are also creating fake links to sales ads.  These ads could include ransomware, worms, viruses, and even keyloggers.

So, what can shoppers do to protect themselves?  Dodi suggests,

“Rather than clicking on the link in the email, simply visit the site directly in a browser.  Also, be careful about deals that are too good to be true. Typically, they are.”

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3 thoughts on “Tis’ the Season to be Scammed”

  1. When you all first started this you wanted 150.00 which I paid – I can’t remember what happened – you all did come up with the 50.00 and I think reimbursed me. What I want to know is I have a computer that when I type in Facebook I get black diamonds with question mark in them – if I go with your new PCmatic – will you all fix that? Please I am desperate

    1. Jimmie, you still have a valid PC Matic account but it looks like you may not have it installed on your computer anymore. You can install PC Matic by following along with this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbvBoeF-8pg. After you install PC Matic choose the option to log in, and use your email address and password from your account. Here is a video on logging in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45BF0GCtNuo. If you need any assistance along the way please reach out to our customer support team at pcmatic.com/help.

  2. Do keep in mind that clicking on suspicious looking links can also get you infected with malware. On a side note, I did happened to get scammed on a 15 buck mechanical keyboard (yeah it was too good to be true). Thankfully Ebay gave me a refund as compensation.

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