12 Scams of Christmas:        
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Security software firm McAfee has released a list of the most common cyber scams.

While the 12 scams of Christmas are out there year round, cyber criminals have more opportunities this time of year,
said Jim Galpin, manager of Canadian consumer sales for McAfee. Here are the most popular cyber scams to watch for:


1.    Offers of free iPads to consumers who purchase other products by providing their credit-card numbers.
2.    Distress messages claiming to come from a friend or family member needing money to be wired or transferred for an
        emer­gency.

3.    Offers of free gift cards online that require answering questions and providing personal information.
4.    Offers of high-paying, work-at-home jobs that require pro­viding detailed personal information, such as a social-insurance
        numbers.

5.    A new version of phishing, called smishing, by which the recipient gets a text message that is purportedly from their bank or a
         retailer saying something is wrong with their account and asking them to verify personal information. No bank or reputable
         retailer will do this.

6.    Fake holiday rentals requiring down payments by credit card or wire transfer.
7.    Email offers of low-interest loans and credit cards for a pro­cessing fee.
8.    Ecards from unknown senders, who could be including vi­ruses or malware. Delete them without opening them.
9.    A price for a product that is way below what competitors offer is often a clue that the website is run by scammers.
10.  Calls or emails pleading for donations to a charity you've never heard of.
11.  Holiday-themed screensavers and other downloads that can be used to spread computer viruses and other threats.
12.  Thieves using open Wi-Fi networks, such as the ones at many airports and hotels, to steal personal information.

Avoid this last trap by having good security on your laptop, smartphone or tablet, Galpin said.

If you're not sure how secure the network is, don't do things like checking your bank accounts and shopping.

Courtesy of Kamloops Daily News and The Prince George Citizen           <Return to News>