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  • Writer's pictureOakland Solutions

'Tis the Season for Phishing

It's the "phishers" favorite time of year. They prey on overwhelmed, stressed-out holiday shoppers who tend to be lax with their personal information when they're on they're PC, laptop or phone looking for the perfect gift and shopping for deals. It begins with an email or text message directing the victim to enter payment information or other personal details on a fraudulent website, which is often designed to look just like a legitimate site. 

According to cybersecurity company McAfee, over a third of all Americans have fallen victim to phishing schemes in the last year. They report that when confronted with an email that asks for updates to payment methods and other personal information, most people don't check email senders or retailer websites for authenticity. 

Here are some clues that point to fraudulent emails or texts:

  • Misspellings and/or bad grammar are found in the subject line or anywhere in the message.

  • The sender's email address looks almost right but contains extra characters or misspellings.

  • Instead of addressing you by name, generic terms ("Mr." or "Ms." or "Dear Customer") are used.

  • The message gives an upcoming deadline and warns that you need to take immediate action.

  • You are asked to click a link and enter personal details, especially payment information.

  • The message promises a refund, coupons or other freebies.

If you receive an email or text that seems suspect, contact the company's help desk.

For concerns involving viruses, malware or hacking click on Oakland Solutions for more information.


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