Watch out for Cyber Monday Phishing Scams

Who is most likely to fall victim to Cyber Monday phishing scams? People who don’t know about phishing scams, typosquatting, and fake look-alike websites.

Did you know there are 4 times as many fake retailer websites online as legitimate retailer websites. Hackers purchase a look-alike domain, called typosquatting. They love to use look alike letter combinations – an ‘i’ for an ‘L’ or an ‘r’ and ‘n’ which look like an ‘m’ when combined. Now Krnart can fool people because a quick glance allows the brain to connect the letters and register “Kmart” in your subconscious. The hacker doesn’t stop there. They will buy SSL Certificates for their fake site so it even shows a secure encrypted lock. What happens next?

Millions of unsuspecting shoppers will get phishing emails with tremendous sales. They will click links and try to purchase merchandise, that never comes. In other cases, they will enter sensitive information like their Amazon login credentials or credit card details into the fake sites giving their Amazon password or Credit card number to hackers. Credit cards will be charged and shoppers will have the hassle of challenging fraudulent Credit Card charges to secure refunds. What a painful experience!

What is one to do?

  1. Visit sales sites through bookmarks you’ve previously saved. This way you know you’re going to the right place.
  2. Alternatively, search Google for the real site and check the resulting search result URL very carefully before clicking and proceeding.
  3. Consider learning a Password Manager. A password manager will refuse to enter your Amazon, Google or Facebook credentials in look-alike websites. They do not fall victim to typosquatting websites ever.
  4. Watch this free CyberHoot video overview on Passwords, Passphrases and Password Managers.
  5. Above all else, be skeptical online and read articles like this one to educate yourself.

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